Six appear in court after British Grand Prix track invasion

Sam Cooper
Charles Leclerc's Ferrari behind the Safety Car. Silverstone July 2022.

Charles Leclerc's Ferrari behind the Safety Car during the British Grand Prix. Silverstone July 2022.

Six people have appeared in court in the UK after invading the track during the British Grand Prix.

The six people hopped the barriers at the Wellington Straight, the fastest part of the circuit, before sitting down during the opening lap of July’s race.

Their protest was largely overshadowed though by Zhou Guanyu’s dramatic crash at the first corner following a collision with George Russell.

A video emerged of the protestors hopping the fence during the first lap was posted to social media but luckily for them and the drivers, a serious incident was avoided as the cars were at a slowed speed behind the Safety Car.

The six people charged with conspiracy to cause public nuisance are David Baldwin (46), Emily Brocklebank (23), Alasdair Gibson(21), Louis McKechnie (21), Bethany Mogie (40) and Joshua Smith (29).

At a previous hearing, the court was told the six people entered the track wearing orange jumpsuits bearing the message “Just Stop Oil”.

The six appeared at Northampton Crown Court, the nearest crown court to the Silverstone track, on Friday and none of them were required to enter a plea at this stage.

All but two of them were granted bail ahead of a plea hearing on October 3 while McKechnie and Smith, who are both from Manchester, were ordered to remain in custody.

At the time of the incident, Lewis Hamilton initially supported the protestors saying “big up” to them and that “we need more people like them.

“I just said big up the protestors,” said the Mercedes driver, who finished P3 during the British Grand Prix. “I love that people are fighting for the planet. We need more people like them.”

Mercedes responded quickly to clarify his comments saying that: “Lewis was endorsing their right to protest but not the method they chose, which compromised their safety and that of others” before Hamilton took to social media to clarify that he was not supporting the track invaders.

“As we’ve seen today, this is a very dangerous sport,” eight-time British Grand Prix winner said.

“I wasn’t aware of the protests today and while I will 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.”

Carlos Sainz, who was one of the first to pass the invaders, also condemned their actions saying jumping on an F1 track was not a good way to protest.

“I think people have the opportunity to speak out and do manifestations wherever they want because it’s a right, but I don’t believe jumping onto an F1 track is a good way to do it because you put yourself at risk and all the drivers,” said the Ferrari driver.