As the final arrangements for the 2017/18 Formula E calendar are put into place, it has been announced that a race in Zurich will be added. This marks a historic moment in motorsport as it will be the first time the country has hosted a motorsport event in 60 years.
Switzerland banned motorsport after the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans disaster that killed a number of spectators. It took 60 years for the law to be relaxed, and in 2015 electric racing was deemed acceptable in Switzerland. After a demonstration run by FE at Geneva in 2015, the series looked to be set on getting a race in Lugano. But the contract fell through at the last moment and the race never appeared on the calendar.
Zurich became the favourite for a city electric race and after some negotiations the World Motorsport Council have confirmed the Zurich ePrix will be held on June 10, 2018. This will mark as the first race in Switzerland since the 1954 Swiss Grand Prix, which was held at Bremgarten and won by Juan Manuel Fangio.
FIA president Jean Todt was happy to be bringing motorsport racing back to Switzerland, and told Autosport: “To be able to reintroduce this discipline to a country where it has been absent since it was banned in 1955 is an exciting prospect and the achievement of an important goal for the FIA. I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making it a reality, as it is important for us to continue to bring motor sport to a new audience around the world.
“Together with the other new events on the calendar in Santiago, Sao Paulo and Rome, I believe we have a very strong season of Formula E ahead of us.”
Alejandro Agag, FE founder, was exstatic at the news and to have his race series break the absense of motorsport in Switzerland. He praised the series’ partner Julius Baer – a Swiss private bank – for their part in helping the Zurich ePrix become a reality. The Zurich ePrix has also made FE veterain Sebastien Buemi and series rookie Neel Jani happy as they will both take part in their first home races.
“This wouldn’t have been possible with out the core fundamentals of Formula E – driving the electirc revolution and sustainable mobility.” Agag insisted. “I would like to express our gratitude to [Julius Baer] CEO Boris Collardi, and his entire team for their continued belief in Formula E – we’ve again been able to break new grounds in the world of motorsport.”
The WMSC also confirmed the Berlin ePrix to be held on May 19, 2018 whilst the New York ePrix has been moved to a July 14-15 date.
2017/18 Formula E Calendar
December 2-3, 2017: Hong Kong ePrix
January 13, 2018: Marrakech ePrix
February 3, 2018: Santiago ePrix
March 3, 2018: Mexico City ePrix
March 17, 2018: Sao Paulo ePrix
April 14, 2018: Rome ePrix
April 28, 2018: Paris ePrix
May 19, 2018: Berlin ePrix
June 10, 2018: Zurich ePrix
July 14-15, 2018: New York ePrix
July 28-29, 2018: Montreal ePrix