Silverstone's race invader

Fact: Adverts on the TV during grands prix are rubbish. And as cuts to the dratted advertising breaks go, this year's British Grand Prix on ITV1 beat Hungary '97 for bad timing

Silverstone's race invader

Just as Britain's TV viewers missed the amazing sight of Damon Hill's unfancied Arrows sweeping past the leading Ferrari of Michael Schumacher at the Hungaroring (of all places!) six years ago, this time the swooshing noise of the Toyota commercial sprang into life just as aggravated trespasser Neil Horan began his misguided 'dance for peace' on the Hangar Straight.

Quite how the live TV viewing figures would have been affected by a former priest being struck head-on by a 150mph Formula 1 car is a moot point, but it certainly wouldn't have been a pretty sight. As he struggled along with his placard bearing the statement 'Read the Bible. The Bible is always right' one wondered exactly where in the Good Book it says it's a great idea to run on to a race track during a grand prix...

While the nation was missing out on the spectacle, the Silverstone press room was treated to the full-on, as-it-happened TV spectacle of this bizarre game of Russian Roulette, with the assembled journalists wincing, 'ooh-ing' and 'aah-ing' as each car had the good fortune to jink past him.

Finally, a relieved cheer erupted as Horan was tackled by a brave marshal, who deserved all the praise he got for hauling the errant individual off the track, green y-fronts and all. Of course, ITV's action replay meant that the drama wasn't missed the by the masses eventually - the director safe in the knowledge that carnage had been narrowly avoided.

It was a bizarre incident in a terrific race, of which Rubens Barrichello was the undoubted king. The way he sliced through the traffic was as if he'd switched helmets with his team-mate, the mighty Schu. Then again, after the entrance of the track-invading ex-priest, nothing would have surprised anyone.

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