Gary Lineker slammed for 'encouraging reckless behaviour' in support of protesters

Activists from the Just Stop Oil group stormed onto the tracks at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday

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Gary Lineker has been slammed for "encouraging reckless behaviour" by Formula 1 broadcaster Martin Brundle after supporting protesters who ran onto the track at the British Grand Prix.

Threats of a protest loomed over the British Grand Prix, as police released a warning about the potential storming of the track by climate change activists.

Several members of the Just Sop Oil group scaled fences and charged towards the track.

Marshals quickly tended to the protestors removing them from the circuit as F1 cars made their way round the circuit.

Seven arrests were made shortly after the incident, with many condemning the perilous nature of the demonstration.

Sports Broadcaster Gary Lineker faced backlash following his supportive tweet to activists
Sports Broadcaster Gary Lineker faced backlash following his supportive tweet to activists

But Gary Lineker praised the protestors, taking to Twitter to say: "If it’s not already too late, history will look back very favourably on these people."

Mr Brundle hit back at the pundits comments stating: "Gary please don’t encourage this reckless behaviour.

"They’d have been sliced into 100 pieces and fans, marshals and drivers were wholly at risk of injury and death.

"We already had one lucky escape. I totally 100% support freedom of speech and opinion, but do it responsibly."

In a statement Formula One said: "We can confirm that after the red flag, several people attempted to enter the track. These people were immediately removed and the matter is now being dealt with by the local authorities.”

Alfa Romeo's Guanyu Zhou crashes out at the start of the race
Alfa Romeo's Guanyu Zhou crashes out at the start of the race
Mercedes Lewis Hamilton commended protestors in a post race conference
Mercedes Lewis Hamilton commended protestors in a post race conference

Racing organisation Formula 1 have previously declared their commitment to having a zero-carbon footprint by 2030, but some believe this is not soon enough.

The comments from Lineker fall in the wake of a statement from F1 racing driver Lewis Hamilton, who said he "supported" the protests, but added that "it must be done safely".

Five men, aged between 21 and 46, and two women, 20 and 44, were arrested after the track invasion on the opening lap at Silverstone.

Despite the incident not being shown on F1’s global television feed, eyewitness footage emerged of five people – understood to be representing climate activist group, Just Stop Oil – entering the circuit at the high-speed Wellington Straight. They then sat down on the tarmac.

The race had just been suspended following Zhou Guanyu’s horror first-corner crash, but a number of drivers sped by the protesters as they returned to the pits.

In his post-race press conference, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton commended the activists after admitting he didn't see them on the track.

He said: “Big up those guys. Big up the protesters.

“I love that people are fighting for the planet and we need more people like them.”

Later on Instagram, the 37-year-old clarified his comments: “As we’ve seen today, this is a dangerous sport.

“I wasn’t aware of the protests today, and while I’ll always support those standing up for what they believe in, it must be done safely.

“Please don’t jump on to our race circuits to protest, we don’t want to put you in harm’s way.”

The arrested protesters remain in police custody after F1 boss Stefano Domenicali labelled their actions as “dangerous and irresponsible”.