Formula One motor racing ban to continue

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June 10, 2009 - 11:00

A ban on Formula One in Switzerland is to stay in place after the Swiss Senate rejected a proposal to reverse the 54-year-old restriction.

The ban has been in place since 1955 when a collision at the Le Mans 24-hour endurance race in France claimed 77 lives and left another 77 people injured.

The Senate on Wednesday refused for the second time a draft revision to existing legislation. Swiss People's Party parliamentarian Christoffel Brändli withdrew the proposal on the basis that it had no further chance of success.

Six years ago rightwing People's Party parliamentarian Ulrich Giezendanner submitted a proposal calling for legal clauses banning Formula One racing to be removed from the statute books.

Giezendanner claimed at the time that bringing the sport's top stars to Switzerland would be beneficial to the economy, creating an estimated 300 jobs, while television coverage would generate more international interest.

However, a circuit would have to built and could have met stumbling blocks posed by environmental legislation.

There were also doubts that even if Formula One were welcomed back, there may not be room for it on the sport's busy calendar.

The last Swiss Formula One Grand Prix took place in 1982, at the Dijon circuit in France. The Swiss Grand Prix was only held on home soil from 1950 to 1954.

swissinfo.ch with agencies

 
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