Silverstone protest: Fire breaks out near media centre amidst police fear of fans invading race track

Silverstone is set to play host to the British Grand Prix this weekend, but things did not get off to the most auspicious of starts.

A fire broke out moments before the first free practice got underway at the circuit, with many people forced to leave the venue as a result.

The fire reportedly took place in the Silverstone Wing and took place just a few minutes before the drivers lined up for FP1.

Journalists were forced out of the media zone and had to wait till authorities informed them that it was safe to enter the venue again.

Northants Police had already suspected that some protests may be likely at Silverstone, but it has not yet been confirmed whether this incident is linked to that.

Police has been tipped off about ‘dangerous’ protest

Silverstone crowd. Credit: espn.com

Police had earlier got a tip that the protestors would look to make their way onto the race track in their attempt to make their stand clear.

“We have received credible intelligence that a group of protestors are planning to disrupt the 2022 Formula 1 British Grand Prix and possibly invade the track on race day,” Northants Police tweeted.

“We want to appeal directly to this group of people. We strongly urge you to not put yourselves, the drivers, as well as the many marshals, volunteers & members of the public, at risk.

“Going onto a live racetrack is extremely dangerous. If you go ahead with this reckless plan you’re jeopardising lives.

“Protesting is, of course, everyone’s human right in this country & we are more than happy to speak with you to help you facilitate a peaceful protest at the circuit, we just please ask that you do not create a situation that puts lives in danger.”

Can Lewis Hamilton make history?

Lewis Hamilton. Credit: autosport.com
Lewis Hamilton. Credit: autosport.com

This race will be of special significance to Lewis Hamilton.

Not only has he been at the centre of a racist slur by three-time world champion Nelson Piquet recently, but the British driver also has a very impressive record at Silverstone.

Although Mercedes has been some way off the pace compared to the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari, Hamilton and Russell are expected to get a welcome upgrade from the Silver Arrows ahead of the race.

Hamilton will hope that this, along with home support from the 136,000 fans expected to grace the venue, will spur him on to a record 8 wins at a single venue.

Read more: Max Verstappen gets roasted by loyal fans after breaking silence on Nelson Piquet racism row

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