After several months of strong headwinds, Berlin’s senate has decided on not giving the Berlin ePrix the go-ahead for the planned Formula E venue on Karl-Marx-Allee.
According to German media reports, the government of the German capital has applied a late emergency brake on the location of the race.
While the ePrix itself has not been called off yet, race organisers now face the tough challenge of finding an alternative location in a matter of five months. An official statement on the issue is expected on Monday.
The reason for the Senate’s decision are “unreasonable road closures and restrictions for residents and road users”, ‘e-Formel.de’ reports, quoting Johannes Schneider, the Green party’s transport policy spokesman in Berlin-Mitte.
“Motorsport events should only be taking place on suitable race tracks”, he told. “I am very pleased that the Berlin Senate has spoken out against the Berlin ePrix in the city centre.
“The massive restrictions caused by the construction, the event itself and the dismantling of the barriers causes too much noise pollution, which affected all residents.”
Alternative location at Brandenburg Gate?
It is still unknown whether the race organisers will be able to find an alternative location for the event. According to the ‘Berliner Zeitung’, the Senate initially planned to move the ePrix back to Berlin-Tempelhof, where the event took place in Formula E’s inaugural season. However, the hangars of the airport continue to be occupied by refugees.
Other locations, including the popular Street of 17th June close to Brandenburg Gate, are being discussed. However, due to time constraints, it will be difficult for the organisers to find a new location.
Tickets have been on sale for the event since early December, but it is expected that those tickets will be valid if the race organisers are able to find a new race track in time.