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Seven people arrested after track invasion at British Grand Prix

Protestors were removed from the Silverstone circuit in Sunday’s British Grand Prix (Helena Hicks/PA)
Protestors were removed from the Silverstone circuit in Sunday’s British Grand Prix (Helena Hicks/PA)

Seven people have been arrested following the track invasion at the start of the British Grand Prix.

The Alfa Romeo of Zhou Guanyu slid upside down across the track before slamming into the tyre barrier and being launched into the fencing in a major crash at the start of the Silverstone race.

As the contest was immediately red flagged and cars headed for the pits, protestors broke on to the circuit at the Wellington Straight, before sitting down.

Protestors stormed the circuit at Silverstone before sitting down on the track
Protestors stormed the circuit at Silverstone before sitting down on the track (Helena Hicks/PA).

The protestors were dragged away by marshals as drivers sped by.

Northamptonshire Police later confirmed a string of arrests.

“I’m really disappointed that this group of people ignored our warnings prior to race-day and made the incredibly dangerous decision to enter the track,” said event commander chief inspector Tom Thompson.

“We offered to facilitate a peaceful event at the circuit but they instead chose to put the lives of the drivers, marshals and volunteers at risk. It is incredibly disappointing that anyone would make the decision to do this.

“Thankfully we had plans in place for an eventuality such as this and the group were swiftly removed and arrested by our officers.

“All seven are currently in custody where their details are being ascertained.

“Finally, I would like to thank all of the officers and staff, as well as our partners, who have worked tirelessly on this policing operation. Generally we have had very low crime rates, today’s incident was dealt with effectively and efficiently, and I could not have asked for more.”

Zhou escaped serious injury in the crash and the race was resumed after a 53-minute delay.

“We confirm that after the red flag, several people attempted to enter the track,” said an FIA spokesperson.

“These people were immediately removed and the matter is now being dealt with by the local authorities.”

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