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Seven arrests over track protest during British Grand Prix · RaceFans

In the round-up: Northamptonshire police have arrested seven people who entered the track during the opening lap of the British Grand Prix.

In brief

Seven arrested following track invasion at British Grand Prix

Northamptonshire Police arrested seven people involved in the invasion, who it reported were in custody at the end of the race. The group Stop Oil claimed it was behind the protest.

Chief inspector Tom Thompson, in charge of policing for the event, said: “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.

“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.”

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali criticised the protesters’ actions. “Everyone has the right to speak out on issues, but no one has the right to put lives in danger,” he said. “The actions of a small group of people today were completely irresponsible and dangerous.

“We thank the police for their great work and we shouldn’t be complacent about the risk this posed to the safety of the drivers, marshals, fans and the individuals themselves.”

Stop Oil issued a statement on Twitter referring to Northamptonshire Police’s earlier warning about the danger of invading the track to protest. “We did it anyway,” they said. “This action was covered in the national press two days ago, but a handful of ordinary people determined to tell the truth have outwitted the UK government and Northants Police. The disruption will end when new oil and gas is stopped.”

Lewis Hamilton posted a message to social media, after the race, discouraging protestors from entering tracks. “As we’ve seen today, this is a very dangerous sport. I wasn’t aware of the protests today and while I’ll always support those standing up for what they believe in, it must be done safely. Please don’t jump on to our race circuits to protest, we don’t want to put you in harm’s way.”

Leclerc: my disappointment should not overshadow Sainz’s win

Charles Leclerc said that despite his frustration not to finish on the podium at the British Grand Prix, he was pleased to see team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr claim his first victory.

“As much as I am disappointed today on my side, I don’t think this should take the headline on what is an amazing first victory for Carlos,” said Leclerc.

“It’s a dream come true. I think when you are a child you dream of this moment and especially with Ferrari.

“So he needs to enjoy, it’s his day and hopefully next time it will be my day.”

Vandoorne’s poor Marrakech qualifying due to brake problems

Stoffel Vandoorne revealed brake problems compromised his performance at the Marrakech Eprix. Both Mercedes cars failed to reach the qualifying duels: Vandoorne qualified 20th but recovered to eighth in the race, two places behind team mate Nyck de Vries.

“I don’t know quite what to think, I’m torn two ways,” Vandoorne reflected, after the race. “On the one hand, I’m frustrated, because we would have been much further up the grid had it not been for our problems in qualifying. And yet, I have to bear in mind that we managed to limit the damage once again, coming from the back of the grid.

“We’ve been struggling with the brakes since practice, but it was still manageable. However, it got a lot worse during qualifying and it was just impossible to post a lap. We simply can’t afford that, especially not in a world championship where every single point counts. It was all about scoring one, two or as many points as we could in the race.”

Vandoorne is now third in the standings, behind Marrakech Eprix winner Edoardo Mortara and Jean-Eric Vergne.

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