Sebastian Vettel says that he "sympathises" with the protesters who invaded the Silverstone track in an attempt to disrupt the British Grand Prix.
On the opening lap of the race, members of the activist group Just Stop Oil stormed onto the circuit, where they sat in a line partly blocking the path.
However, their risk of injury was reduced when the red flags were produced for the opening lap crash involving Guanyu Zhou.
The protesters were removed from the track and arrested, allowing the race to resume.
Vettel: There are two sides
Vettel, who has frequently voiced his opinion on various aspects of climate change, said that he could understand the protesters' anxiousness and their desire to act.
"Everybody's free to have their own view on it," Vettel told media, including RacingNews365.com. "I think these people don't act out of frustration, but they act out of desperation and I very much sympathize with their fears, and their anxieties.
"I think everybody who understands the size of the problem that's drifting towards us can understand."
However, Vettel also emphasised the risks to the potential victims of such radical demonstrations.
"On the other hand, I see the other side [to the argument]," Vettel continued.
"There are marshals trying to stop people from doing these kinds of things and you're putting at risk the people that are involved in the race weekend like drivers and marshals. So there are two sides."
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Vettel wants push for earlier fuel regulation changes
Following on from his sustainably-fuelled demo run in Nigel's Mansell championship-winning Williams FW14B, Vettel spoke of his desire for Formula 1 to fast-track the new fuel regulations.
F1 is set to move to 100% sustainable fuel from 2026, although discussions around the power unit regulations continue to take place.
Vettel commented that he would support a decision to bring forward the fuel regulation changes.
"I'm not taking decisions here, but I can obviously ask questions, and the plan is to move in that direction," added Vettel.
"There are pros and cons when you talk about synthetic fuels; how you do them, and what's the source and so on. But, we have no time to waste.
"Obviously, the introduction is planned for 2026. I understand that not everybody's easily agreeing on changing it sooner. In the end, it would probably be the right call to do it sooner."
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