Martin Brundle criticized Gary Lineker after he defended the protesters who invaded the track at the start of the British GP.
Ahead of the British GP, police had issued warnings about the possibility of protests at Silverstone over the weekend. This came true as a number of people managed to climb a fence and force their way past marshals and onto the track.
Seven members of the climate activist group Just Stop Oil were arrested. They had caused invasion on the first lap at Silverstone. Five of them stormed the Wellington Straight before sitting down in the middle of the track.
Martin Brundle and Gary Lineker got into a Twitter argument
In the wake of the incident, Gary Lineker, a former English footballer defended the protesters’ cause. He retweeted a video of Just Stop Oil protester James Skeet justifying the protest on national television.
Skeet claimed that the group had done it to garner attention. He added that the British GP event had been a “success” as it meant their cause had been recognized.
Lineker said, “If it’s not already too late, history will look back very favorably on these people.”
Brundle, a commentator for Sky Sports, encouraged Lineker not to support such “reckless behaviour”. Although he defended their right to protest about environmental issues.
“Gary please don’t encourage this reckless behaviour,” Brundle replied. “They’d have been sliced into 100 pieces and fans, marshals and drivers were wholly at risk of injury and death.”
In reference to Zhou Guanyu’s crash, he said “We already had one lucky escape. I totally 100% support freedom of speech and opinion, but do it responsibly.”
— James Inge (@inge_james) July 3, 2022
To which Lineker responded, “Way more risk of death with climate change to everyone than there is attempting to delay a motor race.”
Brundle had already criticized the protesters’ behaviour on broadcast, saying: “Lucky escape, very dumb to come onto a racetrack.”
Drivers swerved around protesters who ran onto the track during the British GP
Guanyu’s high-speed crash had already resulted in the race’s suspension. Although a few cars sped by while the quintet protested before being dragged away by marshals.
Drivers such as Alpine’s Esteban Ocon came agonizingly close to danger at break-neck speeds. Ocon’s cockpit footage shows the protesters being dealt with as he swerves off in a different direction.
marshals dragging protestors off the track 👏 pic.twitter.com/4dVauuBJNK
— james (@ScenarioSeven) July 3, 2022
The protesters were fortunate that no one was going at full speed when they sat on the track. Due to the red flag caused by the huge crash on the opening lap drivers were instructed to drive cautiously.
Race winner Carlos Sainz said: “As soon as I came out of turn five I saw three guys running towards me.”
During the post-race press conference, third-place finisher Lewis Hamilton defended the protesters, saying, “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, Hamilton sought to clarify his stance. He revealed that he made his remarks straight after the race and had not realized protesters had invaded the track.