The police were disappointed after protesters managed to climb through the fence to disrupt F1 British GP on Lap 1 when the race was red-flagged.
While the protesters managed to climb the fence to disrupt F1 British GP at Silverstone, the grand prix was already red-flagged for the major incident at Turn 1. The marshals managed to catch the protesters but certain drivers were surprised to see people on track.
Even before the race, the police warned and requested no one to attempt such deed, but it eventually happened which certainly left them disappointed. Seven of them managed to jump in after videos circulated from the circuit and are now in custody.
The FIA too released a small statement on it. “We can confirm that after the red flag, several people attempted to enter the track,” it stated. These people were immediately removed and the matter is now being dealt with by the local authorities.”
The event commander chief inspector Tom Thompson also had his say where he updated about the incident while expressing his disappointment. “I’m really disappointed that this group of people ignored our warnings prior to race-day and made the incredibly dangerous decision to enter the track,” he said.
“We offered to facilitate a peaceful event at the circuit but they instead chose to put the lives of the drivers, marshals and volunteers at risk. It is incredibly disappointing that anyone would make the decision to do this. Thankfully we had plans in place for an eventuality such as this and the group were swiftly removed and arrested by our officers.
“All seven are currently in custody where their details are being ascertained. Finally, I would like to thank all of the officers and staff, as well as our partners, who have worked tirelessly on this policing operation. Generally we have had very low crime rates, today’s incident was dealt with effectively and efficiently, and I could not have asked for more,” he summed up.
Among the F1 drivers, many were unaware of protesters on track as some went past them already and some were more concerned about the incident that happened. “I thought the red flag was for that because as soon as I came out of five, I saw three guys running towards me,” said Carlos Sainz, as Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton didn’t know it.
While the Brit noted that people are talking about the environment, he stressed on that fact that invading a race track during a race is not the way to do it. “As we’ve seen today, this is a very dangerous sport,” Hamilton wrote on Instagram.
“I wasn’t aware of the protest today, and while I’ll always support those standing up for what they believe in, it must be done safely. Please don’t jump onto our race circuits to protest, we don’t want to put you in harm’s way.”
Charles Leclerc, meanwhile, added: “I thought there were marshals, because they were in orange. Then I checked and there was written things there that I didn’t read because we were going too quick.”
At the same time, Sebastian Vettel sympathised with the protesters but like Hamilton agreed that this is not the way to show it. “I saw that,” he said. “I guess there was some talk about it, I think everyone is free to have their own view on it. I think these people don’t act out of frustration, but they are desperate.
“I very much sympathise with their fears and their anxieties which I think everybody who understands the size of the problem that’s drifting towards us can understand. On the other hand, I see the other side. There’s marshals trying to stop people from doing these kind of things, you’re risking people that are involved in the race weekend, drivers, marshals. So there’s two sides. I think the message was very clear and like I said, I completely sympathise with their fears and anxieties.”
Here’s how F1 British GP panned out