On June 11, 1955, a historic decision in the motor racing world was taken by the Swiss Council after the ‘Le Mans disaster’.
Motorcar sports were forbidden from Switzerland after Pierre Lavegh’s Mercedes-Benz crashed into the grandstands of the 24 Hours of Le Mans motor race in Le Mans, France. The crash caused large debris fly into the crowd and death of Pierre Lavegh himself along with 83 spectators. Besides that, whopping 120 people were injured in one of the most disastrous accident of the motorsport history.
Since that time, Switzerland hasn’t seen a single motor race until now. However, even though the ban is still in effect till date, lately after sixty one years, Switzerland has at last lifted the ban, but keeping the leverage confined up to only one type of racing, the Formula E.
As per the organizers, the Swiss Council of States has adopted a motion by MP Fathi Derder that decides to open the doors for this professional electric motorsport back in Switzerland.
Formula E is basically the series of electric racing and the event to be held has been named as Swiss ePrix.
The decision was a taken after an exclusive drive was conducted in Geneva with a Swiss driver Simona De Silvestro behind the wheels of Spark-Renault SRT_01E. Simona De Silvestro, who herself had to move outside of her native land in order to pursue her passion for car racing. De Silvestro has been one of the leading Formula One race drivers and has been affiliated for the Sauber F1 Team. She has also recorded a podium finish at the IndyCar Series. For De Silvestro it was a very special moment to be a part of the celebration marking the return of motorsports in Switzerland and to drive the Formula E car right through streets of Geneva on the day.
This drive embarked Formula E car for the first time on the roads of Switzerland. It was conducted under the presence and immense support of the Swiss partners of Formula E, TAG Heuer and Bank Julius Baer. The event also saw the formal timekeeper of the world’s foremost fully-electric racing chain.
The inaugural season is currently under planning phase which is apparently to be in the 2016/17 championship. A lot of things are yet to be finalized such as the exact location; however one thing is for sure as the history suggests, the event may take place on street circuits as usual and not on ‘on purpose-built’ tracks.
Even sans a race, Switzerland holds quite a significant place in the series. The Trulli GP team is from here and four Swiss drivers have been in competition which is more than any other European country excluding France.