British police have been forced to issue a warning to potential protesters not to enter the track during this weekend’s British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone.
In a statement on Friday afternoon (AEST), Northamptonshire Police said they had received “credible information” that protesters were planning to storm the track during the race on Sunday.
Event Commander Chief Inspector Tom Thompson said police were willing to work with protesters to facilitate a demonstration at the circuit.
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“Going to a live circuit is extremely dangerous – if you go ahead with this reckless plan, you are putting lives at risk,” he said.
“Protesting is of course a human right for everyone in this country and we are more than happy to speak with you to help facilitate a peaceful protest on the circuit, we just ask that you do not create a situation that puts lives at risk.”
“I strongly urge you not to endanger yourself, the pilots, as well as the many marshals, volunteers and members of the public.”
Inspector Thompson said police were “very experienced” at the event and security measures were “tighter than ever”.
“Anyone who thinks they are taking advantage of the race weekend to commit a crime will be caught,” he said.
He also urged fans of the track to be on the lookout for questionable behavior themselves.
The British Grand Prix often draws crowds of over 200,000.
In 2003, former Catholic priest Neil Horan was arrested after racing on the Hangar Straight – the fastest part of the circuit – during the Grand Prix. He was arrested again the following year for interfering with the men’s Athens Olympic marathon.
In 2000, a disgruntled Mercedes employee took to the track at the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim – at the time one of the fastest race tracks in the world.
Most recently, a man was jailed for six weeks for storming the track at the Singapore Grand Prix to take a close-up photo of the cars.
Practice for the British Grand Prix begins Friday night (AEST), ahead of Sunday night’s race.
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