A German activist group has claimed responsibility after protestors stormed the grid ahead of the start of the second Berlin Eprix on Sunday.
The second Formula E race of the weekend was about to begin at the Berlin Templehof Airport circuit when a group of around five protesters climbed the debris fence on the main straight as cars were pulling onto their final grid slots in preparation for the start. The group each wore white t-shirts bearing logos and slogans and attempted to sit on the grid in front of many of the cars already lined up for the start.
Security personnel rushed onto the grid to remove the protestors, who were then arrested by police. The interruption delayed the start of the race by over six minutes, which eventually began with a grid start as planned.
A German group Letzte Generation (Last Generation), who describe themselves on their Mastodon page as a group of “climate justice activists”, claimed responsibility for the disruption. The group is engaging in a series of activities around the German capital city this weekend to call for increased government action to protect citizens from the impact of climate change.
A video posted by the group on social media showed the moment that activists scaled the catch fencing to get onto the circuit.
“We are at the @eFORMELde [sic] racetrack to sound the alarm,” Letzte Generation posted. “It’s time to slow down. Because we’re on the highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator.”
The incident is the latest in a series of climate change related protests at high-profile sporting events, including motorsport. Last year’s British Grand Prix was interrupted by a group of activists breaching the circuit at the start of the race on the Wellington Straight, however the race had already been red flagged due to a heavy accident involving Zhou Guanyu at the first corner. The Silverstone protestors, of the group Just Stop Oil, were convicted of causing a public nuisance and received a mix of suspended prison sentences and community orders.
Formula E is the only FIA accredited world championship which runs on all-electric power, with cars producing zero emissions from racing. The delayed race was eventually won by Envision driver Nick Cassidy.
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