Four F1 fans arrested for trying to sneak a peak of Sunday's Silverstone Grand Prix

Police operation hailed a success on first weekend of back-to-back races at Northamptonshire track

By Kevin Nicholls
Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 11:19 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 11:20 am

Police made four arrests as petrolheads tried to sneak a peak of a fan-free British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Sunday's big race was staged behind closed doors to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and fans answered pleas to stay away and enjoy watching Lewis Hamilton's dramatic win from the comfort of their homes.

Policing the event still involved a massive operation by the Northamptonshire Force involving search teams, disruption officers, firearms officers, covert police officers and the Force’s ANPR unit on roads around the circuit.

And the quartet who could not resist attempting to pierce an exclusion zone around the circuit were charged with aggravated trespass under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. All four have since been released on conditional bail.

Last year's event saw 11 arrests with 350,000 fans flocking to the Northamptonshire track over four days of practice, qualifying and racing.

The second of Silverstone's back-to-back races, the F1 70th anniversary Grand Prix takes place this weekend — also behind closed doors — with Hamilton and his Brackley-based Mercedes team chasing a unique double.

Superintendent Chris Hillery, who led the Northamptonshire Police operation throughout the weekend, said: “Though this year’s F1 races are closed events they are still subject to the same level of meticulous planning and scrutiny.

Lewis Hamilton on his way to victory in front of empty grandstands at Silverston. Photo: Getty Images

“I want to thank all my officers and staff who have worked so hard over the weekend to ensure the first weekend of the Formula 1 British Grand Prix passed successfully.

“I also want to thank F1 fans who did the right thing and stayed away from the site to ensure the safety of event personnel, staff and the local community."

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Hamilton inspects damage to the tyre that nearly cost him victory. Photo: Getty Images

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