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Norris concerned over 'stupid and selfish' Silverstone F1 protest repeat

McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris is concerned over a repeat of last year’s “selfish” protest at the British Grand Prix. 

Lando Norris, McLaren

Lando Norris, McLaren

Jake Grant / Motorsport Images

The opening lap of last year’s Silverstone race was red-flagged after Zhou Guanyu flipped his Alfa Romeo on the run to Turn 1.

This neutralising of the race was fortunate, however, as members of Just Stop Oil were making their way onto the Wellington Straight as the field trundled down the section of track at reduced speed.

In the year since this incursion, protestors for the group have interrupted the Snooker World Championship, the Rugby Premiership final and the recent second Ashes cricket test.

Asked if he fears an interruption this year, Norris said: “There’s a concern over it, of course. I’m not going to lie, it’s a stupid thing to do, to put yourself – your life – in danger with cars driving around.

“It’s a very selfish thing to do at the same time, this particular act [that] happened last year, because of the consequences it has on the person driving the car if something happened. 

“But at the same time, it’s not my area of expertise and everyone has a right to do such a thing [protest]. I guess there are some good ways of doing it and some worse ways.”

Police dealing with protestors at the 2022 British GP

Police dealing with protestors at the 2022 British GP

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton recently voiced his support for the group’s cause but urged that any protest at the British Grand Prix be done in the right way, a call echoed by Norris.

“I think that is the most important thing,” said the McLaren driver.

“I don’t want to think of it as a concern. I feel that Silverstone will do the best job that they can to stop these kinds of things.

“I just hope that people are smart enough to not do such a thing again. There are plenty of other ways, and much safer ways, to get just as much attention and to do what they want to do.

“I guess I support it, as long as they do it in the right way. I hope it [a track invasion] doesn’t happen again, because it’s not just bad for them, it’s also a big consequence for the person who could [be caught up in it].” 

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