A whole host of new countries have come forward recently with an interest in hosting Formula One races in the future, such as Bahrain, Russia, Turkey and China. The latest to be contemplating such a move is Switzerland, according to reports in...
A whole host of new countries have come forward recently with an interest in hosting Formula One races in the future, such as Bahrain, Russia, Turkey and China. The latest to be contemplating such a move is Switzerland, according to reports in Blick newspaper.
The development known as "Swiss-Marina", an old airfield at Altenrhein, near Lake Konstanz in the northeast of the country, is a possible location. It's close to the regional airport of St. Gallen and the area, which is trying to build in economic importance, is situated not far from Germany and Austria.
The site was planned as a leisure and conference centre but development hit trouble last year when investors backed out because plans for a casino would probably have been rejected. It's being suggested the area could be redeveloped as an F1 circuit.
Authorities are keen on the idea for the positive effect on employment and tourism that hosting a Grand Prix would bring. However, the biggest problem would be overturning the current ban on motor racing in Switzerland.
The Swiss government banned racing after the tragedy at Le Mans in 1955, when Pierre Levegh's Mercedes went into the crowd, killing him and over 80 spectators. Racing was also banned in several other countries at the time but was eventually re-introduced elsewhere.
Switzerland had some half a dozen race tracks, none of which are operational any more, and had an early history of street races. In 1950, Switzerland was on the calendar for Formula One, at the Grand Prix track of Bremgarten, and there was also a 'Swiss' Grand Prix in 1982, although it was held in Dijon, France.