The protestors sat down around a corner on the track - but the immediate red flag, caused by a horrible crash involving Guanyu Zhou, brought the explosive start to a halt.

Just Stop Oil posted on social media claiming credit for the protest, saying: "If you are more outraged about this disruption than our world being burnt before our eyes, then you need to get your priorities straight."

They added: "We are going to lose everything we love to extreme heating and climate breakdown. We will not be spectators while our planet burns and our entire species suffers. We will not sit by and do nothing while  our government continues with oil. "

Just Stop Oil activists glued themselves to the frame of a Vincent van Gogh painting at an art gallery, amid multiple protests over the past week.

Just Stop Oil tweeted directly at Northamptonshire Police to say: "We did it anyway. This action was covered in the national press two days ago, but a handful of ordinary people determined to tell the truth have outwitted [government and police]. The disruption will end when new oil and gas is stopped."

Seven people were arrested.

Chief Inspector Tom Thompson said: “I’m really disappointed that this group of people ignored our warnings prior to race-day and made the incredibly dangerous decision to enter the track.

“We offered to facilitate a peaceful event at the circuit but they instead chose to put the lives of the drivers, marshals and volunteers at risk. It is incredibly disappointing that anyone would make the decision to do this.  

“Thankfully we had plans in place for an eventuality such as this and the group were swiftly removed and arrested by our officers.

“All seven are currently in custody where their details are being ascertained.

“Finally, I would like to thank all of the officers and staff, as well as our partners, who have worked tirelessly on this policing operation. Generally we have had very low crime rates, today’s incident was dealt with effectively and efficiently, and I could not have asked for more."

The restarted race was won by Carlos Sainz - the Ferrari driver claiming a first F1 win at the 150th attempt. Sergio Perez came second and Lewis Hamilton, after an exhilirating drive, was third.