Lando Norris issues stern warning ahead of 2023 British GP

McLaren’s Lando Norris has warned environmental activists to avoid “stupid” actions that put lives at risk

McLaren driver Lando Norris has called on environmental activists to refrain from endangering lives with “stupid and selfish” protests during the upcoming British Grand Prix at Silverstone. 

Norris’s plea comes in response to last year’s incident when six “Just Stop Oil” campaigners stormed the track after an opening lap crash, and the same group has disrupted various sporting events, including cricket, horse racing, rugby, and snooker, in recent months.

During June’s second Ashes cricket test at Lord’s, protesters scattered orange powder on the outfield, drawing attention to their cause. 

Speaking at McLaren’s Woking factory, where the team unveiled a new one-off Google Chrome car livery for Silverstone, Norris expressed concern about the safety risks involved in such protests.

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“There is a concern. It is a stupid thing to do to put your life in danger with cars driving around,” stated Norris. 

“It is a very selfish thing to do at the same time because of the consequences it has on the person that drives the car if something happened. 

“Everyone has a right (to protest) and I guess there are good ways of doing it and worse ways. I hope people are smart enough not to do it. 

“There are much safer ways to get just as much attention and do what they want to do.”

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With over 140,000 spectators expected to attend the race on Sunday at Silverstone, the potential for disruptions is a significant concern. 

The individuals involved in last year’s protest at Silverstone were convicted in February of causing a public nuisance. 

After Alfa Romeo’s Chinese driver, Zhou Guanyu, crashed and halted the race on July 3, five protesters ran onto the high-speed Wellington Straight. 

Marshals and police intervened, dragging the individuals away while cars were still returning to the pit lane.

Oscar Piastri, Norris’s Australian teammate, emphasised the dangers of such protests and expressed hope that they would not be repeated. 

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He said, “Going to a racetrack with cars coming at 200 mph is not the way to go about it. 

“They’ve had the consequences of their actions from last year, of course I hope it doesn’t happen again. 

“I’m sure Silverstone will have measures in place to stop it. It’s obviously a bit easier and less dangerous to jump onto a cricket field than a racetrack.”