Drivers warn ‘no cause is good enough to excuse’ ‘extremely dangerous’ antics

Michelle Foster
Oscar Piastri and George Russell face the media. Bahrain February 2023

Oscar Piastri and George Russell face the media. Bahrain February 2023

The Formula 1 drivers have warned ‘Just Stop Oil’ and any other potential protesters considering running onto the track at the British GP that there’s “no cause that’s good enough to excuse” that sort of dangerous action.

Last year the British Grand Prix was red flagged when Zhou Guanyu suffered a horrifying crash on the opening lap with protesters subsequently running onto the track.

With cars passing them, albeit slowly, they were fortunate that there was already a red flag as it could have created a massive, and life-threatening accident – both for the protesters and the drivers.

Additional reporting Thomas Maher and Sam Cooper

Piastri tells protesters ‘no cause that’s good enough’ to risk lives

This year Formula 1 and Silverstone bosses are prepared for another potential protest from ‘Just Stop Oil’, who were also responsible for last year’s antics.

In the past few weeks they have already invaded the field during cricket’s Ashes series between England and Australia while also twice making it onto the court at Wimbledon.

Oscar Piastri, though, has warned them that running onto a live racetrack is a very different story, and threat.

“Everyone’s advice is just don’t run onto a live racetrack,” he told the media including “There’s no cause that’s good enough to excuse that.

“I saw they were at Wimbledon and they were at The Ashes a few weeks ago. It’s one thing to go onto a tennis court or a cricket pitch, but not a racetrack. So I hope everyone stays sensible.

“Of course, there’s a time and a place to protest for what you believe in, but during an F1 race on the track is not the time.

“I just hope everyone stays safe, I’m sure the security here will be on high alert given what happened last year and all the events going on currently. So, stay off the racetrack.”

George Russell added his voice, calling any possible protests during the race “pretty irresponsible and extremely dangerous”.

“We put our trust and faith in F1, and Silverstone and the FIA and there’ll be marshals around to try stop it,” said the Mercedes driver.

“We’re all open and free to cast our views, but doing it on a live Formula 1 track is pretty irresponsible and extremely dangerous for the protesters. But not only them, the drivers, marshals who will potentially be running after people.

“I’d also encourage these protesters to look at the good that Formula 1 is doing from a sustainability perspective. We’re going to 100% sustainable fuels in the future.

“As a sport as teams as individuals, we’re doing a huge push on the sustainability front and I think it would only be fair for them to have a look, see what we’re doing, even open conversations with us before recklessly running onto a circuit when we’re driving past at 200mph.” recommends

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Russell’s team-mate Lewis Hamilton says while he supports “peaceful protests”, “safety is key. “We don’t want to be put in harm’s way and we don’t want to put anyone else in harm’s way. So if there is if there was to be one, we hope that it’s not on track.”

Alex Albon trusts the FIA and the Silverstone bosses will assure the safety of everyone involved in the grand prix weekend.

“I think there is possibly quite a high chance of something happening this weekend,” said the Williams driver. “But we just have to wait and see and obviously more than anything, with the sport that we do, it is a bit of a concern just purely because…

“I think a pitch invasion is one thing but obviously with cars and moving parts and all this kind of thing, it gets a bit more dangerous to some extent.

“So yeah, I think on that side we’re still yet to have a meeting with the FIA about what would happen in a circumstance like that but, yeah, we just have to be prepared for it.”

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