• Belgian Grand Prix

Greenpeace target Shell in Belgian Grand Prix protest

ESPN Staff
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An anti-shell banner on the podium that had been placed there weeks in advance © Sutton Images
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Greenpeace held a protest against oil-giant Shell at the Belgian Grand Prix by unfurling a banner from the pit straight grandstand as well as a couple of smaller ones on the podium.

The protest was aimed at Shell's plan to continue drilling for oil in the Arctic after high-profile accidents last year. A number of protesters climbed up the main grandstand before abseiling off the top and unfurling a banner opposite the pits saying "Arctic Oil? Shell No!".

Beforehand two hang gliders had flown over the circuit with banners and at the end of the race two further signs were unveiled via remote control on the podium after being placed there several weeks in advance. One further protester dangled above the podium with a banner after using a Paddock Club VIP pass to get on top of the pit building.

Greenpeace issued a press release just ahead of the race explaining the intention of the protest.

"This Grand Prix is Shell's biggest day of the year," Tony Martin, one of the protestors, said. "They've spent millions of Euros plastering their logo everywhere and entertaining scores of VIP guests, but the one thing they don't want to talk about is their plan for Arctic oil drilling. That's why we're here, to let the public and Formula One fans know what this company is really up to."

The protest follows a ruling earlier this month from a US judge declaring that Shell's drilling practices off the Alaskan coast do not violate environmental laws.

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