Horror crash, halos, protests, celebrities and the climate debate - Here's how my day unfolded at the F1 British Grand Prix in Silverstone

I went backstage at the F1 in Silverstone - here’s my perspective on how the day unfolded and all the major talking points
Zhou Guanyu's crash at the start of Sunday's F1 Grand Prix meant cars had slowed down by the time protesters entered the trackZhou Guanyu's crash at the start of Sunday's F1 Grand Prix meant cars had slowed down by the time protesters entered the track
Zhou Guanyu's crash at the start of Sunday's F1 Grand Prix meant cars had slowed down by the time protesters entered the track

"It's your lucky day," said the security guard as I buzzed into the F1 paddocks at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. And so I strolled into the VIP section seeing where my media pass could take me.

Walking along the paddocks, I immediately felt like I had entered a world of riches: Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull, Aston Martin, Mercedes all set up in their impressive motorhome type headquarters, all here in Northampton(shire). Surreal.

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The pit stop area was packed out with celebrities, global media and fans with deep pockets (I have been told these passes were going for hundreds of pounds).

Stormzy, Virgil Van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Tom Cruise, Damien Lewis, Gordon Ramsay and many more celebs were knocking about, as well as all your big media TV crews and, of course, the racers themselves.

Among the hundreds of us packed in tight next to the track, I bumped into UFC fighter Paddy 'The Baddy' Pimblett and UK rapper and Top Boy actor Kano, who both kindly stopped for a picture.

I made my way up to the media centre, situated right above the starting line, and enjoyed a bird's eye view of the home straight. The race got off to a dramatic start which saw a horror crash involving Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu and a red flag was raised.

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“The Halo saved me today,” was the first message Zhou Guanyu sent out after his serious crash.

But what is the halo?

According to driving.co.uk, the halo is a protective barrier that helps prevent large objects and debris from entering the cockpit of a single-seat racing car.

This technological innovation saved a man's life who crashed a car at between 150 to 200 mph. Astonishing.

During the stop, protesters from the notorious Just Stop Oil environmental activist group entered the track.

Why did they do this?

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A Just Stop Oil spokesman said: "If you are more outraged about this disruption than our world being burnt before our eyes, then you need to get your priorities straight.

"We demand the government calls an immediate halt to new oil and gas projects in the UK and we will continue to disrupt sports, cultural events and oil until this demand is met. How many more young people have to step up before the government will listen?"

Lewis Hamilton said after the race: "Big up those guys. I love that people are fighting for the planet and we need more people like them."

Gary Lineker tweeted saying: "If it’s not already too late, history will look back very favourably on these people."

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F1 pundit Martin Brundle hit back at Lineker, saying: "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."

Whatever side of the debate you are on, it cannot be denied that F1 emits tonnes and tonnes of CO2 and is hard to justify in 2022, in its current format, given the climate crisis.

Celebrities jetting in from here there and everywhere; F1 cars emitting copious amounts of fuel; spectators visiting from around the world. It was like fossil fuel was going out of fashion and there is no cost of living crisis. Surreal.

However, F1 announced in June this year that it has developed a synthetic sustainable fuel to be introduced in 2026 as part of its programme to be net-zero carbon by 2030, as per the BBC.

So, just like the halo, can F1 achieve another remarkable technological feat and hit its net-zero target by 2030?