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British GP: Lewis Hamilton would 'welcome' protesters but not on F1 track, Silverstone issue 'danger' warning

Last year's British Grand Prix saw a protest on the opening lap of the race; 480,000 people are expected to attend Silverstone this week for one of the highlights on the F1 calendar; watch every session from the British GP live on Sky Sports F1 and for free on Sky Showcase

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Look back at some of the most dramatic moments throughout the years at the British Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton says he welcomes protesters but does not want to see people on an F1 track, after last year's British Grand Prix was targeted.

Twelve months ago, environmental activists walked onto the race track during the opening lap at Silverstone. The Grand Prix was simultaneously red flagged as Zhou Guanyu had a big crash at Turn One.

This year, Just Stop Oil have made protests at high-profile sporting events including the second men's Ashes Test at Lord's, the Premiership rugby final and the World Snooker Championship.

"I welcome protesters or activists," said Hamilton. "I think always they are pushing for positive change. We never want to see people standing on the track and putting themselves in harm's way.

"But that sparks conversation, that sparks dialogue and it often helps, sometimes, done the right way - it sparks change. And we need more change.

"We need to become more sustainable. We need to be more inclusive. There's all these things that we need to do more of.

"It's moving at such a fast pace, the industry, that sometimes some of those things fall off and they need to be sparked up again by conversation. So I hope we don't have the same scenario that we had last [year]. But as I said, I'm always supportive of peaceful protesters."

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140,000 people are expected on race day for the British Grand Prix
Image: 140,000 people are expected on race day for the British Grand Prix

Silverstone boss Pringle: A track is not the place to go

Silverstone has worked alongside Northamptonshire Police to increase security ahead of this weekend's event - live for free on Sky Showcase and on Sky Sports F1 - with a record 480,000 people expected to attend.

"The fundamental difference here is that you are not putting your life in danger when you run on the pitch at Lord's. You are not putting your life in danger when you sit on a snooker table or protest at a flower show," said Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle.

"A motor racing track is not the place to go. It is extraordinarily dangerous and people will be putting lives at risk if they go there, and any sensible, right-thinking person can extrapolate what the ultimate risk here is.

The British Grand Prix is one of the most popular events on the F1 calendar
Image: The British Grand Prix is one of the most popular events on the F1 calendar

"My strong, strong message is: 'Do not put your life in danger. This is not the place to go and sit on a floor'. It is absolute madness if someone climbs on to a live racing track.

"We have no specific intelligence, but we will plan for the worst and hope for the best."

Wolff: F1 is trailblazing in sustainability

On Tuesday, seven team principals, including Christian Horner and Toto Wolff, plus F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali, met Lucy Frazer, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and Transport Secretary Mark Harper.

Among the topics discussed was internal combustion engines, with F1 introducing a new power unit in 2026.

Wolff pointed out that F1 is already showing their drive to be more eco-friendly when asked by Sky Sports News about his message to anyone thinking to protest at Silverstone.

"From our side, our industry is trailblazing in sustainability. We are having sustainability fuels - in 2026 it will be 100 per cent sustainable," he said.

"The technology and innovation in F1, it's important to achieve those emission standards. Our cars are driving 200mph down the straights, you are putting yourself and the drivers in danger.

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Lewis Hamilton, George Russell and Toto Wolff analyse a 'bruising day' at the Austrian Grand Prix

"I can speak for George Russell and Lewis Hamilton that they would not want to have anybody be at risk - spectators, fans or themselves. You are seriously putting people in harm."

Domenicali added: "We are not here to dispute any different opinion on things but to do things that are dangerous, and basically destroy an event, is totally wrong.

"There are ways of showing what you want to do but this is totally unacceptable. I hope that people understand it is not the right place to do this [protest]."

Norris: Safer ways to get attention

McLaren's Lando Norris thinks there are better methods to protest other than going onto a live race track.

"Of course, it is a concern because it's a stupid thing to do to put your life in danger with cars driving around. It is also a very selfish thing to do because of the consequences it could have on the person that drives the car," said Norris.

"Everyone has a right to protest and I guess there are good ways of doing it and worse ways. I just hope people are smart enough not to do it. There are much safer ways to get just as much attention."

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McLaren unveil a special chrome livery for the British Grand Prix as part of their 60th anniversary celebrations this weekend

George Russell added: "We are on a live race track, driving at nearly 230mph at points. Of course everyone has the right to their opinions and if there are any protests, they have to happen in a safe manner.

"For anyone to run onto the track at any point would be absolutely dangerous and not good for anybody, so please be careful and I urge anybody not to do an act like that."

Sky Sports F1's live British GP schedule (all F1 sessions on Sky Showcase)

Thursday July 6
6pm: The F1 Show (also streamed on YouTube and Sky Sports App)

Friday July 7
8:40am: F3 Practice
10am: F2 Practice
12pm: British GP Practice One (session starts 12:30pm)
2.05pm: F3 Qualifying
3pm: F2 Qualifying
3:40pm: British GP Practice Two (session starts 4pm)

Saturday July 8
9:15am: F3 Sprint
11:15am: British GP Practice Three (session starts 11:30am)
1:10pm: F2 Sprint
2:15pm: British GP Qualifying build-up
5pm: Ted's Qualifying Notebook

Sunday July 9
8:10am: F3 Feature Race
9:50am: F2 Feature Race
11:50am: Porsche Supercup
1:30pm: Grand Prix Sunday - British GP build-up
5pm: Chequered Flag: British GP reaction
6pm: Ted's Notebook

Next on the F1 calendar is the big one, Silverstone. Don't miss the British GP live on Sky Sports from July 7-9

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