Formula E

Report: Swiss organizer is courting Formula E race again - new legal dispute flares up in Bern

Tobias Bluhm

Tobias Bluhm

Three and a half years have passed since the last Formula E race in Switzerland. For the race event, the Federal Council changed laws, softened the prohibition of motor sports specifically for events with electric drives. Nevertheless, the E-Prix in Bern turned into a debacle for Formula E and the Swiss federal city, which continues to reverberate to this day. Now the organizer wants to make another attempt to bring the electric series to the Alps.

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The posse around the Swiss E-Prix gets a new chapter. Crashingly, the last edition of a Formula E race in Switzerland had failed at the resistance of residents:inside. Two days before the event, about 1,000 people on bicycles demonstrated against the electric championship and tore advertising banners from concrete walls, among other things. Later, repeated reports emerged of bills and promises that the local promoter did not pay or keep.

Now the event's promoter wants to make another attempt to lure the electric series to Switzerland - albeit with a new name. Swiss E-Prix Operations AG, the company responsible for the race in Bern, went bankrupt in January 2021. A few days later, the management of the AG founded a new company, Swiss E-Prix GmbH. Shortly thereafter, this company took over the event license for Formula E. The license is still valid for four years.

This means that Swiss E-Prix GmbH can stage a race of the electric series in Switzerland until 2027. And that is exactly what it is now trying to do again, as a spokesman for the company tells the daily newspaper 'Bund': "We want to bring Formula E back to Switzerland and are in contact with possible venues."

Open accounts: Is Bern liable for Formula E organizer?

Parallel to the renewed E-Prix efforts in Switzerland came recent reports that a construction company involved in the Bern E-Prix has sued the city. Since Swiss E-Prix Operations AG failed to pay outstanding invoices before filing for insolvency, the federal city is now said to be liable for the damage. Other creditors are following the process with great interest, after all, according to the 'Bund', invoices amounting to more than one million euros are still outstanding with various partners. Legally, the application of the so-called lien on road works in Switzerland would be a novelty: "I am aware that we write legal history with a lawsuit," said a lawyer for the construction company.

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Also because of the legal dispute, it is questionable how realistic the prospects of another Swiss E-Prix are. The negative response to the Formula E race in Bern did not go unnoticed in other cities in Switzerland. Plans for a replacement race in St. Moritz failed already in 2019. At present, it is difficult to imagine that another city in the Alpine state will seek an E-Prix, given the large amount of "scorched earth". We keep the topic nevertheless naturally for you in the view.

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