Mobilisation for the Environment in the Netherlands is calling for the F1 racers in Zandvoort not to be allowed to compete due to environmental damage.
The Dutch Grand Prix was back on the calendar in 2021. It proved to be a hugely successful event with tickets selling quickly and the atmosphere being highly praised.
Some environmental groups believe that the emissions from the event are causing damage to the sand dunes near the circuit.
MOB has taken the matter to court. ValentijnWsten, a legal adviser, believes that the outcome of the case should be the revocation or cancellation of the license for the event.
‘The legal requirement for permits is that there should be no uncertainty about possible harmful consequences for the protected ecology,” he told f1maximaal.nl.
“With the report, it is established there is no such certainty. Then the judge can only go one way – annul the permit decision.”
The group’s argument is largely based around a report that has claimed the actual amount of emissions released by the event is higher than the official figures provided by Zandvoort.
That, they say, can cause serious harm to the “vulnerable” area and so the race should take place elsewhere.
“As a follow-up to this, politicians will have to conduct a serious debate about the enforceability of a mass event location in the middle of vulnerable dunes,” Wosten added.
“The debate about moving to a less vulnerable location should have been held much earlier. It is not good for anyone to leave uncertainty about the future location of the circuit.
Jan Lammers, a former F1 driver, believes the group are using it to draw more attention to them, but he says that it is within their rights and welcomes the case.
“We naturally generate a lot of media attention with our GP, and this creates an opportunity for the environment and nature organisations that they can use,” he said.
“That is their right, and it is now up to us to defend in this case through the court that we are within our rights. We can do that, but it’s not up to us to judge that – the judge will ultimately have to do that.
“Of course, we do our very best to do our homework and make sure the facts are correct. We aren’t trying tell a story to anyone using a mirror and beads. We are just trying to show people that the facts are correct through careful work.
“In any case, we have become a lot stronger because of all the trials we have gone through.”
Lammers is not worried about the accusations. In fact, Lammers claims that F1 cars cause very little damage to the environment these days.
“Look, when I was in F1 we had a tank of 200 litres of petrol and we did a grand prix with that,” he stated.
“Then we had just over 500 horsepower. They now have a GP car with 136 litres and 1,000hp. It is a huge improvement on the previous one. An F1 car uses every ounce of energy.
“Now I don’t want to suggest warm air comes out of the exhaust, but that fuel is used to the maximum so the emissions are also minimal.
“That said, the GP itself accounts for 1% of the total event’s emissions. In that respect, it’s not that much of a difference to a football match.”