SILVERSTONE, (United Kingdom): Climate activists Just Stop Oil on Sunday welcomed seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton’s support, but urged him to cut his ties with Mercedes’ fuel supplier Petronas.

The protest group has threatened disrupting Sunday’s British Grand Prix after obstructing several other major sport events in recent weeks, including at the Wimbledon tennis championships and last week’s Ashes Test at Lord’s.

Last year, protesters breached security at Silverstone and sat on the Wellington Straight during the opening lap of the British Grand Prix.

Ahead of this weekend’s race, Hamilton told reporters: “I support peaceful protests.” But, he added, he did not support actions that endangered lives.

In response Just Stop Oil tweeted: “We welcome Lewis Hamilton’s statement of support for peaceful protest but would like nonetheless to stress that non-violent direct action involves brave individuals choosing to put their bodies on the line to demand a better future for all.

“We urge Mr Hamilton to drop Petronas as a sponsor at the earliest opportunity and to demand an immediate end to new fossil fuel licensing in the UK - doing so would allow us to make assurances that we would not disrupt specific events.”

The protesters comments came ahead of Sunday’s race and after Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff had revealed the contents of discussions he held with the president of motor sport’s ruling body, the International Motoring Federation (FIA) Mohammed Ben Sulayem on Saturday.

As rumours swirled around the paddock ahead of Sunday’s race, Wolff confirmed they had talked about the new Concorde Agreement due in 2026, a binding set of rules for the sport.

“We discussed the overall situation in F1,” he said. “Concorde and all those things. We hadn’t seen each other for a while and there was exchange on some topics.”

The president’s rare presence at a Grand Prix came after he chose to step back following some controversial comments earlier this year as the FIA and Formula One underwent a spell of strained relations.

Silverstone is widely regarded as an event at which much politicking and business takes place ahead of the sport’s mid-season break.


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