Lewis Hamilton has stated that he would support the Just Stop Oil group’s peaceful protest at this weekend’s British Grand Prix.The seven-time world champion, who previously expressed support for their cause, believed that environmental activists had a point when they targeted sporting events and expected to take action at Silverstone.
On Wednesday, protesters interfered with two Wimbledon matches and the opening day of the Lord’s Ashes Test. The British Grand Prix organisers have already stated that they are scheduling the weekend with the expectation of commotion.
However, while Lewis Hamilton was unequivocal in stating that Just Stop Oil protesters should not climb on to the track or endanger lives, he did support their right to make a point about the climate emergency. When asked if he would agree with a protest at the race not involving invading the track, he said: “Yes. I support peaceful protests.”
He has expressed concern about the climate emergency in the past and has been working actively with his Mercedes team to address issues of sustainability and attempting to minimise the environmental impact the team makes by participating in F1. At Silverstone, Hamilton made it clear that he supported the cause promoted by Just Stop Oil but emphasized that they should make their point without endangering lives by climbing onto the track.
“From my perspective, and my team’s perspective, we are focused on sustainability and we believe in what people [the protesters] are fighting for and we are making those changes as a sport,” he said. “But safety is key. We don’t want to put them in harm’s way and we don’t want to put anyone else in harm’s way. If there was to be one [a protest] we hope it is not on track.”
At the race last year, Just Stop Oil protesters breached the trackside fencing on the opening lap, shortly after the Chinese driver Zhou Guanyu had suffered a high-speed crash at turn one.