The Zandvoort circuit opened its gates at 8 a.m. for the second day of the Dutch Grand Prix. The coastal village expects 105,000 race fans on Saturday to watch the final part of free practice and qualifying. On Friday, organizers reported 95,000 visitors.
However, Extinction Rebellion activists announced that they will take action on Saturday as they do not want Formula 1 races in the dune area near Zandvoort. Conservationists have long called for an end to races at the track. They say they lead to too much nitrogen precipitation in the protected Kennemerland-Zuid dune area.
About 100 demonstrators of Extinction Rebellion (XR) left by bicycle from Haarlem to Zandvoort around 11:30 a.m. Their ride is a protest against Formula 1. The activists want the races in the area to stop because they cause “noise pollution, large nitrogen emissions” and also affect the adjacent dunes, XR says.
The organization expects rain during the action, but the demonstrators are well prepared, according to a spokesperson. “And luckily the sun is just breaking through here.”
A week ago, ten activists were arrested for blocking the entrance to the race track. David Moolenburgh, the mayor of Zandvoort, previously said that good arrangements had been made with the activists for the bicycle action.
Reporting by ANP