Racing was banned in Switzerland following the tragic 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans, where dozens of spectators were killed after a crash on the main straight flung large pieces of debris into the crowd. The last event in the country took place at the Bremgarten circuit in 1954.
However a change to Swiss law in 2015 lifted restrictions on fully-electric racing, paving the way for Zurich to join the Formula E calendar.
“I’m thrilled that Formula E is bringing racing back to Switzerland for the first time in over 60 years,” said Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag.
“This wouldn’t have been possible without the core fundamentals of Formula E – driving the electric revolution and sustainable mobility.”
Swiss driver and 2015/16 Formula E champion Sebastien Buemi said that a race in his home country is the realization of a dream that he never expected to see come true.
“Having a race in Switzerland is truly a dream come true,” he said. “I am delighted about this news, and still can’t believe it. Only a few years ago it seemed impossible because of the local legislation, but thanks to Formula E we have managed to bring racing back to my country. Zurich is the biggest city and racing there will be incredible.”
According to FIA President Jean Todt, the reintroduction of racing in Switzerland had been an “important goal” for global motorsport’s governing body.
“I am very pleased that circuit racing is returning to Switzerland next year with the FIA Formula E Championship event in Zurich,” Todt said.
“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 new audiences around the world.”
Zurich joins Santiago, Sao Paolo and Rome as new additions to the Formula E calendar. Other changes include a return for Berlin, with a race confirmed at Tempelhof Airport, while the New York event has been moved one week later to mid-July.