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A record crowd of 142,000 is expected at Silverstone for one of the highlights of the British sporting summer, but there are concerns the race could be disrupted.
Local authorities have warned lives could be put in jeopardy after receiving “credible intelligence” about protests set to target Sunday’s British Grand Prix.
Northamptonshire Police posted a warning to Twitter about the dangers of going onto a live racetrack, including putting themselves along with drivers, marshals, volunteers and members of the public at risk.
— Northants Police (@NorthantsPolice) July 2, 2022
The Tweet said: “We have received credible intelligence that a group of protestors are planning to disrupt the 2022 Formula One British Grand Prix and possibly invade the track on race day,” Northamptonshire Police said on Twitter.
“We want to appeal directly to this group of people. We strongly urge you to not put yourselves, the drivers, as well as the many marshals, volunteers and members of the public, at risk.
“Going onto a live racetrack is extremely dangerous – if you go ahead with this reckless plan you’re jeopardising lives.
“Protesting is of course everyone’s human right in this country and we are more than happy to speak with you to help you facilitate a peaceful protest at the circuit, we just please ask that you do not create a situation that puts lives in danger.”
The British Grand Prix has been targeted before when former priest and serial protestor Neil Horan invaded the circuit, while Extinction Rebellion activists broke into the track at the behind-closed-doors 2020 race.
“We work closely with Northamptonshire Police and the emergency service agencies to put plans and procedures in place to ensure we are fully prepared to handle such situations,” said Silverstone managing director, Stuart Pringle.
“I am confident, under the lead of the Police, and with the pooled resources of our partners, that we can deliver a safe and secure event for the fans which remains our overriding priority.
“As is the case at every major event we must remain vigilant and ask all at Silverstone to act as our eyes and ears and report anything suspicious to a steward.”
Grand Prix practice results
Lewis Hamilton has taken second place in the second practice for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
The seven-time world champion finished just 0.163 seconds behind Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, with Lando Norris third for McLaren.
Hamilton’s Mercedes team arrived at Silverstone armed with their third major upgrade of the year.
A new suspension, rear wing, floor and sidepods have been strapped on to the Silver Arrows in a bid to rescue their season, and the early signs are encouraging.
“It has been a good day,” said Hamilton. “The car is still bouncing – not necessarily in a straight line, but through the corners it is pretty harsh. But this track is much smoother which is better for us, and a bit like Barcelona in that sense.
“This is the best circuit. It is still hair-raising and just epic to drive.
“We are fighting the car a bit, and our long-run pace is not as good as the other guys, but it is not miles off so we have definitely made an improvement and I am sure overnight we can improve the car a little bit more.
“The fans give me hope. I am so appreciative for all the support and we are going to work as hard as we can to give them a good result.”
Verstappen, who holds a commanding 46-point lead at the summit of the standings having won five of the last six rounds, finished fourth in practice on Friday, two tenths back. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc took fifth, with Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell eighth, 0.857 sec down.
Silverstone Second Practice results
1. Ferrari: Carlos Sainz Jnr - Fastest lap: 1:28.942
2. Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton - Fastest lap: 1:29.105
3. McLaren: Lando Norris - Fastest lap: 1:29.118
4. Red Bull: Max Verstappen - Fastest lap: 1:29.149
5. Ferrari: Charles Leclerc - Fastest lap: 1:29.404
What channel is Silverstone grand prix on?
If you’re not heading to the track tomorrow, you can catch all the live action on TV instead.
Channel 4 is home to Sunday’s race with Steve Jones, David Coulthard, Mark Webber, Billy Monger, Alice Powell, Lee McKenzie and Eddie Jordan look ahead to the race at Silverstone in the Live F1 British Grand Prix Build Up from 1:30pm to 2:30pm.
Stay tuned to Channel 4 to watch the Live F1 British Grand Prix coverage from 2:30pm until 5:10pm.