German climate change protesters storm Formula E race, despite cars being fully electric, leaving fans and drivers confused.
As drivers performed burnouts before taking their positions on the grid, several protestors entered the track from the far side of the circuit. The start procedure was delayed as security swiftly moved onto the track and removed the protestors, who were then detained by police.
The German climate activist group Letzte Generation (Last Generation) claimed responsibility to be behind the attempted disruption of the second Berlin E-Prix on Sunday, a protest that has been criticised by a number of drivers.
The group had already publicly outlined plans to bring Berlin to a ‘standstill’ as it recruited activists to disrupt events across Germany.
Several members of the organisation scaled fences on the start/finish straight as the cars assembled on the grid and attempted to glue themselves to the track and the official support cars. Most were wearing t-shirts adorned with ‘Last Generation’ identification.
The race start was delayed for six minutes as the protestors were cleared from the grid by circuit security. After security escorted the perpetrators off the Tempelhof premises and into custody, after which race director Scot Elkins was able to start the race.
About the activist group:
The group had made warnings that it would target specific events throughout Germany, telling a German website (thelocal-de) recently that they “will come to Berlin and bring the city to a standstill in order to get the government to move forward”.
The activists have been known as ‘the climate stickers’ (Klimakleber) due to their propensity to use adhesives to glue themselves to infrastructure to disrupt traffic flow in cities.
Several cars were approached by the protestors,
Jake Dennis said: “didn’t really know what their goal was and what they were trying to achieve but it looks like they were trying to sit down and cause some sort of riot.... I was pretty impressed by how quickly we removed that situation and continued with the race."
Abt Cupra driver Nico Mueller added, “(he) saw people running onto the track and that’s what happened and when they are sitting there you cannot race. The rest, I don’t really care about. I thought it was pretty ridiculous. I don’t know if these people realise what we are doing here.”
Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa echoed those points stating: “(he) was not a fan of that sort of stuff. I think we are all fighting for the same right? I’m not sure what they are trying to do because we are probably the worst category in motorsport for them to come and do this at,”
Da Costa reiterated:
“We are by far the most ecological, sustainable and new zero series that ever existed. We are pushing boundaries in every direction.”
Polesitter Robin Frijns was also confused by the protestors’ choice. He said: “I just cannot really get my head around those people, what they are thinking really, We are here, Formula E is standing for helping the environment and then they do this. I don’t really understand.”
This is the second high-profile single-seater race to be disrupted by protestors in the last 12 months, with Just Stop Oil members storming the Silverstone circuit at the 2022 British Grand Prix.
Several members of the group accessed the track along the Wellington Straight on the opening lap of the race, which was red flagged following Zhou Guanyu’s first corner accident which sent his Alfa Romeo over the barrier.