Extinction Rebellion protest, Silverstone, 2020

Four arrested after Extinction Rebellion banner appears in F1 broadcast

2020 British Grand Prix

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Four members of environmental protest group Extinction Rebellion were arrested after they targeted Sunday’s British Grand Prix.

A banner was displayed at Silverstone’s Club corner which was seen in F1’s television broadcasts as the cars were sent away on their formation lap.

The group behind the stunt is believed to have gained access to the circuit using ladders. They did so overnight between Saturday and Sunday at a point close to where the banner was displayed. They are understood to have hid themselves within the circuit overnight and emerged in time for the start of the grand prix.

A statement issued by Silverstone said: “During the race, Northamptonshire Police were made aware of four people who had been detained by Silverstone security inside the venue perimeter.

“Officers are working closely with Silverstone Circuit and conducting a full investigation. Four people have been arrested and are in police custody.”

Formula 1 and sponsor Shell was previously the target of a protest by Greenpeace during the 2013 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

Last year Formula 1 announced a plan to become a ‘net zero’ producer of carbon by the year 2030. Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton, who became a vegan in 2017, has also said he aims to begin ‘carbon neutral’.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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28 comments on “Four arrested after Extinction Rebellion banner appears in F1 broadcast”

  1. I saw a huge screen during the race saying “your advert here next week” or some such. I’d put into a Go Fund Me for XR to put there banner there – might be cheaper than the court fees!

    1. Sidney vianna
      2nd August 2020, 18:38

      If anyone of importance in F1 wanted to make a statement against a possible environmental tragedy, they have a chance this week. In Brazil, this week, they will have a hearing on the possible deforestation of an area outside Rio de Janeiro for the construction of a racetrack that could host future F1 events. If the plan goes forward, around 200,000 trees would be taken down from one of the last native forests in the area. The place is also a terrible choice because it is surrounded by low income neighborhoods and, like in Interlagos, thugs would harass and rob unsuspecting foreigners.
      F1 should make a statement against this potential environmental disaster. WONT RACE IN THIS PLACE.

      1. @Sidney vianna 100% agree, that sounds like the worst kind of environmental vandalism and something F1 should run screaming from. Given the geocidal and sociapathic regime in charge it would be unsurprising to see a plan like this get the go-ahead, but as you say a strong statement from F1 might make a real difference.

      2. Totally agree with that……still McLaren have new sponsorship from Gulf Oil eh!

      3. Good, finally putting that forest to good use then.

    2. @picasso-19d-ftw Yes, the Heineken-ad at Village (T3). I noticed that too, but already earlier in the weekend.

      1. @jerejj yeah that’s the one. I only noticed it once so it’s probably not a great location! But then again I only saw the banner fleetingly too so maybe it’s worth a punt!

  2. Good on them…….the oil fuelled car is heading for extinction along with F1 unless it starts to plan to go full electric or hydrogen pretty quickly. I have been watching F1 since 1970 and as much as I have loved the combustion engine and its glorious history, its time to face the facts and face the future. I have just bought my first electric car…..never going back. F1 has less and less impact upon the young, big brands and many manufacturers will hardly touch it, while they flood to Formula E.

    1. tony mansell
      2nd August 2020, 19:32

      Do you wonder how they got there? Did you give them a lift perhaps in your Toyota Pious?

    2. Thanks for buying an electric car…….gives the rest of us more room to burn carbon while raising temperatures less!

      1. We should definitely buy electric cars for their awesome torque. I drove a Jaguar i Pace (which weighs two tonnes) and it is seriously fast. Neck-snapping acceleration. But not for the supposed environmental benefit. I wonder where @machinesteve gets his electricity and his lithium battery from. I’m guessing fossil fuels and open-cast mines.

        1. And yet repeated studies have shown that electric cars are still more efficient overall due to the higher efficiency of the motor and the transmission network. Most of the energy usage is in making the vehicle move, and the oil industry is a highly intensive energy user in its own right as well – you can’t ignore that issue for petrol powered cars.

    3. Blarney Stone
      3rd August 2020, 0:37

      Proof? While you’re busy using up rare earth elements with your new-age, more-polluting, fakery, the rest of society knows oil is irreplaceable.

    4. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      3rd August 2020, 7:38

      Big manufacturers may be rushing to Formula E but viewers aren’t. It’s all very noble and forward-thinking but the public aren’t interested. It can’t sustain itself long-term with nobody watching.

  3. Big fan of F1 – long before I became aware of the impact conventional combustion engines have on the environment. Still love the sport and motor racing in general, but it’s best described as an uneasy relationship nowadays. I hope F1 moves in the right direction and yes, this does ultimately mean moving away from current powerplants towards full electrification or hydrogen-isation. Good to see an XR banner making it into the frame without interrupting proceedings.

  4. In time honoured Extinction Rebellion tradition, did they travel to the circuit by private jet or gas guzzling RV?

  5. Well atleast they had the decency to just stick a small banner… I mean if they reached there they could have easily entered the track

  6. Well done XR.

  7. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us?

  8. daryl martis
    3rd August 2020, 0:11

    friends of lewis?

  9. Barney the Dinosaur
    3rd August 2020, 0:38

    Lock em up…throw away the key

  10. Freedom of speech …… hello Lewis

  11. There should be more of these banners covering all those Gulf Oil advertisements. There should be even more people standing behind these movements pointing at the real global problems..a way more important to human future existence than this F1 circus.

  12. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    3rd August 2020, 7:30

    I hope the marshals used lots of hand sanitizer after handling those scruffbags.

    In all seriousness though, I do worry about these groups targeting motorsport events in the future. It seems logical, lots of gas-guzzling cars in one enclosed space with lots of spectators and the ability to bring it all to a standstill just by jumping the barriers and chaining themselves to something trackside.

  13. Arrest for trespassing, completely justified. But, my question is if we were racing in a normal scenario and not in front of empty grandstands, would these four not be allowed to flash their sign/slogan? If not, why not? F1 has taken a bold and timely stand against racism. Similarly, they should allow people to voice their opinion on how the sport can and should be made more eco-friendly. There shall be no place for hypocrisy.

    1. Voice opinion yes, but XR don’t really seem to be in favour of eco-friendly – rather just anarchists using it as an excuse to pee off government without caring about the consequences of their actions. The fact that eco-friendlyism is a good cause to fight for is inconsequential imo.

      If it was a normal race they’d probably be trying to do what that idiot running down the main straight did ages ago.

  14. I thought we were done with these clowns

  15. Why isn’t F1 doing more to stop climate change. Isn’t that more important than BLM because climate change will affect us all?

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