Controversial climate activists make Lewis Hamilton demand

Just Stop Oil has demanded that Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton drop Petronas as a sponsor.

Climate activist group Just Stop Oil has welcomed the support of seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton but has urged him to sever ties with Mercedes’ fuel supplier, Petronas. 

The group has threatened to disrupt the British Grand Prix, following previous disruptions at major sporting events such as the Wimbledon tennis championships and the Ashes Test at Lord’s.

Last year, protesters breached security at Silverstone and staged a sit-in on the Wellington Straight during the opening lap of the British Grand Prix. 

In light of these events, Hamilton expressed his support for peaceful protests while emphasising the importance of not endangering lives. He stated, “I support peaceful protests. But, I don’t support actions that endanger lives.”

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Responding to Hamilton’s comments, Just Stop Oil tweeted their appreciation for his support but urged him to go further. 

They stressed that non-violent direct action involves individuals who courageously put their bodies on the line to demand a better future. 

The group called on Hamilton to drop Petronas as a sponsor and demand an immediate end to new fossil fuel licensing in the UK. 

They proposed that if these actions were taken, they would provide assurances that specific events would not be disrupted.

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The activists’ statements came ahead of Sunday’s race and following discussions between Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff and the president of the International Motoring Federation (FIA), Mohammed Ben Sulayem, on Saturday. 

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Rumours circulated within the paddock, and Wolff confirmed that the talks covered topics related to the new Concorde Agreement, a binding set of rules for the sport set to come into effect in 2026.

“We discussed the overall situation in F1,” Wolff stated. “Concorde and all those things. We hadn’t seen each other for a while, and there was an exchange on some topics.”

Ben Sulayem’s presence at the Grand Prix marked a rare occurrence as he had chosen to step back following controversial comments earlier this year, which strained relations between the FIA and Formula One.