The day a priest broke into an F1 race

Silverstone hosted in the second half of July the eleventh race of a 2003 season that featured 16 grands prix.

Michael Schumacher arrived there as world leader, taking 8 points from Kimi Raikonnen at a time when victory was worth 10 points and second place, 8. In the classification, the German could only be fifth, while his rival achieved third best position.

Schumacher’s teammate, Rubens Barrichello, had taken pole with the other Ferrari ahead of Renault by Jarno Trulli, and between the two candidates for the title came, fourth, Ralf Schumacher.

Trulli and Raikkonen surprised Barrichello at the start, although the Ferrari would manage to account for the Finn from McLaren on lap 11. Before, at seven, the first had appeared Safety Car for a strange problem: the headrest of his car came off. Beyond that, the race was running smoothly until on lap 13 of 60 one of the spectators filling the Silverstone stands burst onto the track. Specifically, it was a guy dressed in an orange kilt, green socks, waistcoat, tie and beret, and a Star of David painted on his forehead.

It was about the father Neil Horan, a radical Irish priest who lived in Clapham, London, and who wanted to alert the world to a series of events in the Middle East that would lead to a third World War that could bring about the end of the world.

Horan scaled the fence that surrounds the track before racing towards the circuit on Hangar straight as the cars passed by at over 270 km / h, trying to avoid him. He was carrying a banner that read ‘Read the Bible, the Bible is always right’.

The race quickly passed into a period of Safety Car, as Horan raced towards the exit of Beckett’s turn sequence before commissioner Stephen Green accosted him and then stopped him. Northamptonshire Police charged him with aggravated burglary and sentenced him to two months in prison.

Scotsman Neil Horan became known as ‘The Grand Prix priest’, and fans chose that race of the 2003 British GP as one of those that Formula 1 repeated for free to entertain the world during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

The race would end up winning Rubens Barrichello, ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen, who could only cut a point from a Michael Schumacher who was third and who, at the end of the year, would become the sixteenth world champion by only two units.

(Click on the image to enjoy the photos of that race before reading on)

That deranged one was a repeat offender, and in Athens Olympics 2004 ruined the Brazilian’s career Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima, who was leading the marathon and, after the assault by the priest, who threw the athlete to the ground, ended up having to settle, through tears, with the bronze medal.

He also wanted to appear with a Nazi salute at the Soccer World Cup 2006 disputed in Germany, but the police neutralized him in time.

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