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OPINION: Protestors at Formula E Berlin: Stupidity at its Finest

Written by Owen Bradley, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Credit: Picture Alliance - Getty images

Rounds seven and eight took place at Berlin last weekend, and while many were looking forward to yet another weekend of fantastic racing action, an event just before the second race of the weekend will definitely be remembered for its infamy. On Sunday, as drivers got themselves in position for the race start, some protestors standing trackside, climbed over the fence at the start/finish straight, and positioned themselves in the middle of the track. Some even tried to glue themselves to the track, and to the safety and medical cars, before being quickly escorted.

The group who took responsibility for the disruption are called: “Letzte Generation” which translates to “Last Generation” in English. “Last Generation” are a German climate change activist group, with over 80,000 followers on Twitter, and have tweeted in response to the uproar of the Formula E paddock, most of whom are thoroughly against these sorts of protests. The self proclaimed “activist” group tweeted this:

“Car racing disrupted. We are at the Formula E race to sound the alarm. It’s time to slow down. Because we’re on the highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator.”

Well, they certainly did sound an alarm. But that alarm was just the police sirens. For a group protesting against the German government, by getting the government's attention at a major racing event, you might think they would do this at a racing track or a series like DTM, or perhaps MotoGP at the Sachsenring, both of which are perhaps not the best for sustainability.

But, instead they chose to disrupt an event… one that uses sustainable electric cars, and has been net zero in terms of carbon emissions since its inception in 2014.

This protest was poorly thought out, and likely was done by people who don’t even care for Formula E or Motorsport. Just people who seem to believe that they are in the right, and everyone else in the wrong. Truly narcissistic and arrogant.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that a protest has taken place at a racing event in recent times. Last year’s British Grand Prix in Formula One saw protestors climb over fences and onto the Wellington straight, nearly getting hit by cars travelling at over 100 miles per hour.

Clearly, these protestors proclaiming to be correct in what they say, really need a wake up call. An incident with a speeding race car can cause severe injuries, and even lead to a huge catastrophe.

To sum up, Murray Walker’s famous quote from the past would be perfect. “There’s a lunatic on the track!” And lunatics they are. At least in my opinion.

That’s all for now then, let us know what you made of this protest in the comments below!

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1 comment

1 Comment

Apr 25, 2023

Your opinion is in my mind correct, its a massive worry and I think was mentioned last week by a Motorsport UK press release that motorsport is quite a soft target for disruption due to the amount of space that needs policing and that in general fans of motorsport rarely disrupt their own sport in a way perhaps football 'fans' occasionally do, so at motorsport events security on entry has fortunately been deemed uneccessary.

No one can deny the aims and intentions of disruption are probably valid but motorsport is high risk enough without this tomfoolery.

There are published details and I cannot recall the specifics now, but its something like one transatlantic flight uses as much fuel or emits…

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