Switzerland ends 52-year motor sport ban

Keke Rosberg, Williams-Cosworth, Dijon-Prenois, 1982, Swiss Grand Prix podiumSwitzerland’s parliament has voted to end the country’s ban on motor racing.

It was outlawed in 1955 following the crash in that year’s Le Mans 24 Hours that killed over 80 spectators along with Mercedes driver Pierre Levegh.

Time trials have been the only legal form of motor sport since 1955. Five world championship Swiss Grands Prix were held at the Bremgarten circuit from 1950-4, and many Grands Prix were also held in the pre-championship years.

There was one Swiss Grand Prix during the ban, but that was held in France at the Dijon circuit at a time when French involvement in Grand Prix racing was particularly high.

But there remain great obstacles to a Swiss Grand Prix being held in Switzerland. The environmental lobby is strong in the country (the lifting of the ban passed by 97 votes to 77) and finding the support to build a new track would be difficult.

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6 comments on Switzerland ends 52-year motor sport ban

  1. Well, not yet. It was only approved in the Swiss Lower House of Parliament. It must still be approved in the Upper House before it is finalized.

    And the Upper House has more anti-racing folks than the Lower House.

    As of today, racing is still banned in Switzerland.

    • Tav said on 12th June 2009, 1:12

      I think that Switzerland should allow motor racing now because a crash like their one only happens like every centery.

  2. wasiF1 said on 11th June 2010, 9:12

    It’s a beautiful country & it will be a shame if we don’t have any F1 GP there.

  3. Pachu said on 24th October 2010, 8:57

    It is very sad to hear that guys with responsibility to protect the beauty of a wonderful country is allowing a deadly “sport”(really it doesnt qualify as sport) which harms every everyone.

  4. Graham Houghton Troillet said on 23rd April 2012, 6:16

    go to my Avaaz petition to ban the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, South Australia.

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