No GP for Switzerland

Thu, 29 December 2005, 12:29

Peter Sauber does not believe the prospect of a Swiss grand prix is likely.

The F1 team boss, who has sold his Hinwil based team to BMW, reckons it would be “nearly impossible” for a Swiss investor to find the money.

“To build an F1 circuit here would be extremely expensive,” Sauber told the Swissinfo agency.

Switzerland’s motor racing industry is decades behind most of Europe, after a long ban following the 1955 Le Mans tragedy.*

Because of that, there is not one permanent race track in the country. Peter Sauber would like to see this change, even if the race circuit “would not necessarily have to be for grands prix.”

He added: “At the moment, F1 is moving away from Europe, so it makes no sense to have an additional race here.”

*At Le Mans 1 driver and 77 spectators were killed during the Sportscar race when Pierre Levegh, having complained that the cars were too fast and that they need a slow-down signalling system at the pits for safety reasons, crashed into the crowd. Little did he know how prophetic his words would be as he rounded the corner to find that Lance Macklin’s Austin Healy was going so slowly that hitting it was unavoidable. Pierre still managed to give a slow-down signal to the car behind him before he clipped the Austin. Levegh’s lightning fast Mercedes was at the time travelling in excess of 240 km/h and so flipped over, flew through the air and hit the bank by the spectator enclosure.

All classes of racing were banned in France, Switzerland, Spain and Mexico – these bans were lifted soon after in all countries except for Switzerland.

Edu de Jager

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