A FORMER Formula 1 boss has been working with his village on a litter picking mission throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Christian Silk worked in F1 for 30 years, enjoying championship winning success with the likes of Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso.

He has since moved into Formula E, which uses electric cars only.

Off the track, Mr Silk has been regularly picking litter in Freeland over the last 12 months.

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“It started when I was working from home and I would always pick up litter while on my walks around the village,” he said.

“I’ll take a bag and pick up some litter every time I go for a walk during my lunch.

“I’ve been doing it all the time, I’ve been fanatical about it.”

Mr Silk has also been getting the wider community involved.

Michael Schumacher and Christian Silk with Alex Zanardi. Picture: Peter Heil

Michael Schumacher and Christian Silk with Alex Zanardi. Picture: Peter Heil

“It occurred to me to get people involved so I reached out on Facebook and people have been doing it on an ad hoc basis.

“Because of Covid, we’ve seen more people out walking and enjoying their local area, and they’ve become more aware of the litter.

“I see in Witney and North Leigh people have been doing similar things.

“When you’re out picking litter, people ask what you’re doing and that helps spread the word.”

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Mr Silk started his career in F1 in 1987, before leaving in 2017 for Formula E.

During his 30-year stint in F1, he worked with the likes of Mr Schumacher and Mr Alonso at Benetton and Renault respectively.

With both drivers, he was heavily involved in their World Championship wins in his role as race engineer.

Christian Silk with Renault drivers Giancarlo Fisichella (left) and Fernando Alonso (centre). Picture: Peter Heil

Christian Silk with Renault drivers Giancarlo Fisichella (left) and Fernando Alonso (centre). Picture: Peter Heil

Now, the 55-year-old is the team principal at NIO 333 in Formula E and an active member of Extinction Rebellion.

“I was travelling the world, racing fast cars around the planet, while not doing much to help it,” he said.

“It’s obvious we’ve got issues with the climate crisis and Formula E is much more switched on with protecting the planet.

Christian Silk is the team principal at NIO 333 in Formula E. Picture: NIO 333

Christian Silk is the team principal at NIO 333 in Formula E. Picture: NIO 333

“You look at the banks and other big corporations that talk about the importance of the climate crisis, while still investing billions in fossil fuels.

“In Formula E, people are taking the crisis seriously and are working hard to create a racing series that does not destroy our future.”