News   |    July 4th, 2022

TURBULENCE ON TRACK

This weekend saw the much anticipated return of Formula 1 to British soil, as Silverstone was engulfed by over 400,000 motorsports fanatics across the 3 day spectacle. It would be an opportunity for Lewis Hamilton to somewhat redeem his poor start this season – by his standards – and claim a ninth victory on his domestic circuit. Meanwhile, Red Bull would look to maintain their relentless onslaught as both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez lead the championships, with Ferrari pursuing them in Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr.

We didn’t have to wait long until we saw some action, albeit a different type of action as a group of protestors from Just Stop Oil made their own way to the track in a bid to convey their thoughts on the oil usage across the country and in particular Formula 1. After taking to the Wellington straight, various drivers supported the protestors in their aim to rid the sport, and general use of oil. Hamilton, Perez and Sainz are among the names commenting, with the Spaniard suggesting “People have the opportunity to speak out and do manifestations wherever they want because it’s a right, I just don’t believe jumping into an F1 track is the best way to do it, and putting yourself and all the drivers at risk.” He continues, “Yes, I support the cause and F1 is doing a great job already to try and go carbon zero by 2030, and we are pushing on this area and we are pushing F1 and the FIA to find ways to go in this direction.” Thankfully, the protestors were escorted from the track safely and with their environmental message made clear.

In relation to the main event and with the track suitably warmed up, the opening lap saw a chaotic flurry of racing enthusiasm. As the entourage stormed up the track George Russell, Pierre Gasly and Zhou Guanyu were involved in an altercation which saw Zhou flip over and withstand an extremely terrifying crash, immediately meaning each driver were unable to continue. Meanwhile Sebastian Vettel bumped into Esteban Ocon, putting him out of the race. With the Red Flag stopping the race, our attention was quickly on the young Chinese driver who was thankfully okay and suffered minor injuries.

The race eventually restarted and the racing did not disappoint the fans. Over the course of the 52 laps driver positions chopped and changed on a regular basis. Ultimately, Hamilton pushed his way into finishing 3rd with a clever and experienced competitive performance.  Perez took 2nd spot whilst Sainz enjoyed his first Formula 1 victory. The championship leader in Verstappen experienced some performance problems with his car, subsequently finishing down in 7th. For the Brits overall, it wasn’t to be for Russell as he recorded a DNF, yet with Hamilton in 3rd and Lando Norris taking a respectable 6th, the British fans can be proud.

The Austrian GP awaits in just under a week’s time, where we hope the three Britons can continue to improve their good form and stay away from danger. We must remember that first and foremost each driver was safe and no one was injured, alongside this it is important that future protests are conducted in a safe way too.

Photo by Getty Images.

Alfie Bobbins - Business Manager, Integral Sports Management

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