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Zurich agrees early extension to Formula E race deal

Zurich has signed a three-year extension to its hosting rights deal with Formula E, a move that will see an event from the electric car-racing series take place in the Swiss capital until at least 2027.

The city had initially agreed terms on a six-year licence with Formula E and the first Swiss E-Prix road race event is scheduled for June 10 as part of the series’ 2017-18 season.

The inaugural race will mark a significant change in the Swiss attitude toward motorsport, with this year’s Swiss E-Prix to be the first motor racing event in the country in more than 60 years. Motor racing was outlawed in Switzerland in 1955 following the disaster at that year’s Le Mans 24 Hours race in France that claimed the lives of dozens of spectators.

Swiss E-Prix Operations AG, the organisation that holds the licence to stage Formula E events in the country, has now opted to further extend the initial licence in order to establish Zurich as an “indispensable venue with international vibrancy for the whole (of) Formula E”.

Pascal Derron, chief executive of Swiss E-Prix Operations AG, said: “This supports the continuity for the Formula E in our country. Switzerland stands for innovation, precision and building services.

“This is also an important sign for our partner, with whom we will be able to operate the Zurich E-Prix 2018. Finally, the last doubts should be dispelled, and the Zurich E-Prix will take place on 10 June 2018. It will be an international figurehead for the whole of Switzerland.”

Alejandro Agag, chief executive of Formula E, added: “Racing in Zurich has been a dream realised by the help of Swiss E-Prix Operations AG, and together with our partners based in Switzerland, ABB, Julius Baer and Tag Heuer. It is great news that their license has been extended until 2027, again solidifying our intent to race in this great city.”

Formula One’s 1954 Swiss Grand Prix was the last motor racing event to be held in the country, but a law change in 2015 lifted restrictions on fully-electric racing and paved the way for Formula E to head to the streets of Zurich.