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F1 drivers speak out on potential protest

With climate protesters having invaded the track at last year's British Grand Prix, several drivers are hoping such an incident doesn't happen this year.

Several F1 drivers have reaffirmed their hopes that Sunday's British Grand Prix will not be affected by protesters. Last year's race at Silverstone was marred when protesters from Just Stop Oil invaded the track following a Lap 1 crash between George Russell and Zhou Guanyu. With the race already having been red-flagged due to the collision, the protesters' presence did not have a significant bearing on the Grand Prix, though those involved were convicted in February of causing a public nuisance. In recent months, Just Stop Oil protesters have disrupted tennis, cricket, horse racing, snooker and rugby events, including the second Ashes test at Lord's Cricket Ground in London, and at the Wimbledon Championships. Earlier on Sunday, Just Stop Oil released a statement welcoming Lewis Hamilton's support for peaceful protest ahead of the British Grand Prix, but urged the seven-time F1 World Champion to cut ties with Mercedes' lubricant partner Petronas. "We've not yet spoken with the FIA in terms of what we would have to do," Hamilton told media, including RacingNews365.com , when asked if any protocols had been put in place to deal with potential protesters. "But naturally, we're really hoping that we've learned a lot from last year’s experience and that won't happen this weekend. "I believe we have 100 more marshals this weekend, who are there to be supportive and make sure that this doesn't happen as well. "From my perspective, and I think my team's, we are very focused on sustainability. We believe in what people are fighting for, and we are making those changes as a sport. "But 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 was to be [a protest], we hope that it's not on track."

Albon highlights danger of potential protest

Williams driver Alex Albon echoed Hamilton'sthoughts, adding that the nature of motorsport meant that a track invasionwould be more dangerous than doing likewise at another sporting event. "I think there is quite a high chance ofsomething happening this weekend," Albon said. "But we just have to wait and see, and withthe sport that we do, it is a bit of a concern. "A pitch invasion is one thing, but obviouslywith cars and moving parts and all this, it gets a bit more dangerous. "We're still yet to have a meeting with theFIA about what would happen in a circumstance like that, but we just have to beprepared for it."

Norris cites 'extreme' consequences

Lando Norris also urged protesters not toinvade the track, citing the 'extreme' consequences of doing so. "You have to accept what people want to do incertain situations and I understand it in certain situations, but it's somethingthat can't happen at a racing event," said Norris. "If it happens in the paddock, I guess thatprobably causes different scenarios. But it just can't happen on a race trackbecause you put actual people's lives in danger. "The people on the circuit, I don't know ifthey realise the consequences of what can happen, but the consequences would bepretty extreme. "It's best not to think of it, but it's happeningmore and more. They have the right to do it, but there's a time and a place andthat just needs to be understood because it also causes consequences for thepeople who are on track driving. "At the end of the day, it just can't happenon track. If it does, then the consequences should be pretty severe."

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