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Less than half a minute into the race at Silverstone today, 3 July, the red flag had to be shown after Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu's vehicle was flipped over before skidding across the track and gravel.
Both Zhou and Williams Racing's Alex Albon were rushed to hospital following the collision, which has been described as 'one of the scariest crashes you will ever see'.
It's since been confirmed that they are conscious, with ESPN F1 writing on Twitter: "Zhou Guanyu and Alex Albon are conscious and will be evaluated at the medical centre. Great news."
Following an incident at the start of the race Alex Albon and Zhou Guanyu have been taken to the medical centre. Both drivers are conscious and continue to be evaluated.— Formula 1 (@F1) July 3, 2022
Further updates will be given in due course. pic.twitter.com/mUenaHpTYO
While many are relieved to know the racers are conscious, a number of viewers were livid that a group of protesters made their way onto the Silverstone track amid the chaos.
Just Stop Oil, a UK-based climate activist group, shared images and footage of the demonstration on Twitter.
"A group of supporters of Just Stop Oil have stormed the track at #BritishGP2022," they wrote.
"If you are more outraged about this disruption than our world being burnt before our eyes, then you need to get your priorities straight."
A group of supporters of Just Stop Oil have stormed the track at #BritishGP2022— JustStopOil (@JustStop_Oil) July 3, 2022
If you are more outraged about this disruption than our world being burnt before our eyes, then you need to get your priorities straight. pic.twitter.com/lg44Uaj8nc
An F1 spokesperson told Sky Sports: "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."
In the clip above, the audience can be heard booing the activists as the F1 team run onto the track to pull them away.
The backlash has been just as heavy online, with one Twitter user writing: "Can’t believe people are stupid enough to protest on a live F1 track. Wow."
Great timing of a protest when a driver has just nearly been killed #F1— Dominic J Brown 🔰🇾🇪 (@DomJBrown) July 3, 2022
Another said, "Great timing of a protest when a driver has just nearly been killed #F1," while a third added, "Got to be a different breed of special to try protest on a live F1 track mind."
"If you have your people sit down on a 300kph straight during an #F1 race, you’re organising a suicide mission, not a protest," commented a fourth.
"Any driver attempting to NOT run over your people risks a massive crash. You really didn’t think this one through..."
The crash itself came about after Mercedes driver George Russell appeared to be slightly clipped by Alpha Tauri's Pierre Gasly.
That collision forced Russell's card into the path of Zhou, causing his vehicle to flip over and collide with the barriers.
Russell immediately jumped out of his car after the crash and sprinted over in the direction of Zhou, seemingly to help the rescue effort.
Featured Image Credit: @TylerRickard04/@skysportsnews/Twitter
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