British GP protesters sentenced for causing a public nuisance

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In the round-up: A group of six protesters who invaded the live track at the start of last year’s British Grand Prix have been sentenced after they were convicted of causing a public nuisance

In brief

Silverstone protesters sentenced for causing public nuisance

The six protesters – four men and two women, all aged between 22 and 47 – were handed either suspended prison terms or community service orders, the BBC reported.

The group planned to invade the track on the opening lap of the race, breaching the circuit through security fencing along the Wellington Straight. Despite reaching the track before they were removed by marshals and arrested by police, the race had already been red flagged due to the violent start line accident involving Zhou Guanyu, George Russell and Pierre Gasly.

Two of the group of six had previously been convicted of causing criminal damage to a Van Gogh painting at a London art gallery last year.

McLaren company fined over worker’s death

McLaren Brand Centre, Istanbul, 2007
McLaren began using its Brand Centre in 2007
McLaren Services, a division of the McLaren Group which also includes the Racing arm responsible for its motorsport activities, has been fined over the death of a worker while he was inspecting the Formula 1 team’s hospitality suite.

David Oldham, 55, died after falling from the McLaren Brand Centre in October 2016 at a site in Maidenhead. The multi-storey structure served as the F1 team’s paddock base between 2007 and 2021.

The Health and Safety Executive reported McLaren Services Limited had been fined £650,000 and ordered to pay £110,132 in costs.

Iwasa takes F2 pole as Hadjar penalised

Red Bull junior Ayumu Iwasa will start on pole position for tomorrow’s Formula 2 feature race after securing pole position in qualifying.

In difficult wet conditions, Iwasa posted a best time of 1’45.118 to secure the top spot on the grid, with Theo Pourchaire starting alongside. Isack Hadjar was handed a three-place grid penalty for impeding Roman Stanek during qualifying.

Dennis Hauger will start on reverse-grid pole for today’s sprint race.

Bortoleto secures F3 feature race pole

Trident driver Gabriel Bortoleto secured his first FIA F3 pole position in qualifying at the Albert Park circuit.

The early championship leader, who won the opening feature race of the season in Bahrain, beat Gregoire Saucy to pole in a qualifying session heavily disrupted by red flags. Sebastian Montoya will start on reverse grid pole for this morning’s sprint race.

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Comment of the day

With Circuit of the Americas chief Bobby Epstein heralding the qualities his track has over the two other US venues on the calendar, reader Tim Wood offers a first-hand perspective…

For all of Epstein’s talk about COTA being ‘built for racing’ and ‘built for competition’, there really is a striking lack of racing going on there. So far, COTA has lost V8 Supercars, IndyCar, WEC, IMSA, the 24H Series, Creventic, GRC, and more, with some of them leaving before their contracts had finished. V8SC left after one race weekend. Now we’re left with F1, MotoGP, NASCAR, and recently-added SRO.

And regararding his boasting about ‘value for the spectator’s money, and having more support racing than Vegas, which has none, maybe he should look south of the equator to Australia: 15 races across four days. F1, four V8SC races, three Porsche Carrera Cup races, two F2 races, two F3 races, three Historic GP races, plus all of the associate practice and qualifying sessions for all.

THAT is value for the spectator, and in Australia, even with all of that action on tap, you can get a four-day GA pass for $100-150 less than the cost of three-day parking at COTA, and Oz throws in transportation to and from the circuit. Or if you want to sit in a seat, Melbourne’s most expensive grandstand seat is about $200 less than three-day GA at COTA. Their least expensive grandstand seat also costs less than three days of parking at COTA.

Amazing bang for the buck. I could get a round trip air ticket from Austin to Melbourne and a four-day GA ticket for only about $500 more than the cost of three-day parking and GA at COTA, which is 20 minutes from me. Come to think of it, I need to start planning that trip now.
Tim Wood

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On this day in motorsport

  • Born on this day in 1971: Future Prost and Minardi F1 driver Shinji Nakano

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 7 comments on “British GP protesters sentenced for causing a public nuisance”

    1. Re: COTD

      Very interesting perspective.

      Whilst pricing is discussed in somewhat general terms now and then, such a direct comparison as this is quite eye opening. Whilst it would also be interesting to have a similar comparison for the whole season it probably would not be as easy to visualise the ‘value’ after similar descriptions of 3 or 4 events as it is for 2 events (at least for my weary old noggin). I guess there could be some form of rating per ‘aspect’ (e.g. races, concerts, parking costs, GA, etc) with an overall value for money rating, but it would probably get fairly subjective pretty quickly.

      1. Absolutely, it’s a great post. I suppose in some sense it’s a question that all businesses have to contend with to some degree; do they focus on a few big events/clients at high prices, or a lot of smaller ones at lower prices. There’s not one right answer, and so long as COTA can fill the stands for the top prices they probably don’t care that others are refusing to go.

        A few years ago I compared prices for the WEC and F1 at Spa-Francorchamps, and the difference was huge. But, the WEC race was sparsely attended and the F1 race had even the GA zones filled to capacity. So… they’d be silly not to ask those prices if people show up anyway.

    2. I’m all for protesting and it’s quite worrying how much the current Tory government want to completely eradicate it. However in this incident they did endanger their own lives as well as the lives of the drivers. Perhaps you can make allusions to the protests for women’s rights at the horse racing but it really was a poor decision. I’m glad they’re not being jailed though. The right to protest should be an absolute right. Anything else is fascism.

      1. JossTheBoss
        1st April 2023, 7:43

        Are you having a laugh? Trespassing on a racetrack during an actual race has absolutely nothing to do with protesting.

        1. I agree wholeheartedly, I was born into a different time than this, and to me Protests should be made at the door of the FIA with placards, not track invasions which as you say endangered their own lives as well as the Marshalls and Drivers.

          I think a lot of that behaviour says more about the pathetic characters who do it, for them it’s not about what they’re fighting for, it’s about ego and bragging rights, nothing more. It’s not a protest, it’s criminal and should be dealt with as you would any criminal damage …..

          In fact I’d be happy that they should have been charged with attempted murder and a prison sentence to match !

          THAT would stop dimwits like them, who would think twice about affirmative action before committing themselves to this kind of activity. If not then they’d know what will happen when they’re stopped.

    3. Two old matters, especially the one from October 2016, which I was unaware of until today.

      So Hankook, Bridgestone, & possibly Michelin are all applying.

    4. As always the establishment protects its “protesters” so they get only a slap on the wrist.

    Comments are closed.