British Grand Prix was once nearly dropped from F1 after priest stormed track

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The reputation of the British Grand Prix took a huge hit back in 2003 after a priest in kilt stormed the track – later to be arrested by Police and charged with "aggravated trespass".

Renault's Jarno Trulli started the race on the front row and led for each of the first 11 laps before a a track invasion forced the majority of cars to pit under safety car conditions.

A man, who turned out to be a defrocked priest, decided to enter the track and run opposite to the 280km stream of cars down Hangar straight – wearing rather unusual attire.

While wearing a saffron kilt, he waved banners of a religious nature which read both: "Read the bible." And: "The Bible is always right – to the bemusement of race officials.

Having ran off to the grass section at the side of the track after each of the cars had passed him on that lap, the race was stopped by a marshal as security took him away.

Andrew Waller, Silverstone's managing director, was forced to launch an official investigation, as fears grew that F1 bosses Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone could drop the race from the calendar.

That was not only down to the incident, but also previous criticism of the facilities at the track.

Ecclestone said at the time after saying that the incident reflected poorly on the security arrangements on the train: "It wasn't necessary – the race was exciting enough without it. But the security wasn't good enough."

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British GP winner that year, Rubens Barrichello, had said: "I'm sorry that it happened.

"I think Silverstone has come in for a lot of criticism. But it is now better than ever in terms of traffic jams and everything else.

"I like the track. It's a great place, and Becketts is one of the best corners in the world.

"With this happening it might be a bad situation, but I hope [Ecclestone and Mosley] will be more kind. We should be coming back here."

With runner-up Juan Pablo Montoya saying: "This was one of the best races of the year, even with the spectator. It was so much fun today."

Additionally, track boss Martin Brundle said that the trespass was "the last thing Silverstone needed".

To put those fears at ease, Ecclestone later said that security scare would not be taken into consideration when thinking about future F1 races, and they have been held there ever since.

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