Motor racing was banned in Switzerland after the Le Mans accident of 1955, meaning that the last Grand Prix ever to be held in Switzerland took place in Bern in 1954. TAG Heuer and its irrepressible CEO Jean-Claude Biver are now looking to bring motor racing back to Switzerland thanks to a loophole in the ban, which was recently passed by Switzerland's parliament and allows for professional motor racing for electric vehicles.
The FIA's Formula E championship, of which TAG Heuer is a founding partner and the official timekeeper, would therefore be the perfect competition to bring back motorsport to the home of watchmaking. To promote this idea, TAG Heuer yesterday brought a Formula E car to the heart of Geneva, driving from the brand's store in the city centre across the landmark Mont-Blanc bridge to a finish line by the lakeside for a photo opportunity with the city's iconic waterspout as the backdrop.
At the wheel was Swiss motor racing driver Simona de Silvestro, who took the seat of the all-electric car for the first time ever. Nicknamed the "Iron Maiden", de Silvestro is more familiar with the IndyCar circuit and has been an affiliated driver with Switzerland's Sauber Formula 1 team.
"TAG Heuer has always been ahead of its time and attracted by firsts," said Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of TAG Heuer and President of the LVMH Group's watch division. "Formula E is more than a race, it is the biggest innovation in motor racing and entertainment of the last 10 years. It all adds up to zero emissions, unlimited adrenaline and fun. I will be prod if we can host it in Switzerland. If it happens, we'll be throwing a party to remember!"