Why Formula E is here to stay

Two years ago, as Syrians were forced by the million to escape, tens of thousands ended up in Berlin. A temporary centre was set up to house them in the historic but disused Tempelhof Airport. Part of that was a giant sturdy marquee on the apron. As it happened the refugee pressure eased and the wood and canvas structure went unused.

Until now. It was spotted by Alejandro Agag, promoter and owner of Formula E. He had it fitted out with posh casual furniture, glossy food stations and banks of big-screen monitors. This is ‘Emotion’, the equivalent of Formula One’s Paddock Club, where the sponsors and guests are fed and watered before the races.

But even so, Emotion needed only two-thirds of the marquee. They were going to blank the rest off. Until someone had a bright idea. Send the cars through it, highlighted by strobing LEDs. A sort of tented Yas Marina.

Words: Paul Horrell