Lewis Hamilton says he supports protestors but has warned a particular group against repeating its track invasion from the 2022 British Grand Prix.
One year ago, a handful of members from the ‘Just Stop Oil’ group rushed the track on the opening lap of the race and positioned themselves on the Wellington Straight.
A sizeable collision at the first corner involving Zhou Guanyu saw the race red-flagged before the cars reached the protestors at full speed.
The protestors were condemned for putting themselves, drivers and marshalls in danger, but were spared jail time after appearing in court earlier this year.
Just Stop Oil has been disrupting a number of public events over the last year, including at the Ashes Test and the World Snooker Championship.
Amid fears that the protestors could return in an attempt to interrupt running at Silverstone this weekend, Hamilton has pleaded that they don’t endanger lives by doing so.
“I welcome protesters… activists I mean,” Hamilton said. “Always pushing positive change.
“We just don’t want to see them on track and putting themselves in harm’s way. That sparks conversation, that sparks dialogue and it often, if done the right way, sparks change and we need more change.
“We need to become more sustainable, we need to become more inclusive.
“There’s all these things we need to do more of and it’s moving at such a fast pace in the industry that sometimes some of those things fall off and they need to be sparked up again by conversation.
“I hope we don’t have the same scenario we had last race but I’m always supportive of peaceful protesters.”
The British Grand Prix weekend will run from July 7 – 9.
Hamilton, an eight-time winner at the race, will be hoping the upgrades that Mercedes is set to unveil at the circuit will boost the team’s prospects amid a difficult start to the 2023 campaign.