Circuit type: Temporary street course
Bern’s ePrix course is the second temporary street circuit to host motorsport in modern times in Switzerland, following on from the inaugural Formula E race in Zürich in 2018. It had been expected to continue around the streets of Switzerland’s largest city, however it dropped off the calendar due to clashing local events in June 2019. A grateful Bern stepped up to the plate to host the race instead.
The city circuit is 2.668 kilometers long and has a total of 13 turns including two chicanes and a long straight on which, the new second generation Formula E cars will be able to use full throttle. The layout is characterised by some strong elevation changes, which would hitherto have rendered it unsuitable for the electric racers, but is now made possible by the much stronger batteries in the Gen2 cars.
The racetrack does not lead right through the city centre, but through the area of the Ostberg, with the historic old town forming a backdrop and housing some of the special zones created for spectator entertainment. Among the more unusual neighbouring premises is the Bärengraben (bear pit) which, as its name implies, houses the creatures which are part of the city's coat of arms and have been kept here since at least 1513.
Unusually, the pit lane is located at turn one for logistical reasons, with the paddock located separately in the grounds of the Expo centre. Unlike Zürich’s rather lavish wood-panelled temporary pit buildings, Bern is expected to use more traditional tented garages. The lack of car changes and pit stops in Season 4 should limit the need for pit callers during the races in any case.
A revised circuit layout was published in March 2019, which sees a new Turn 1 section and revisions to the Turns 7-8 and Turns 9-10-11 areas.
The same company which was responsible for the implementation of the Zurich is behind the Bern event. Under the direction of Pascal Derron, Swiss E-Prix Operations AG is responsible for the entire racing infrastructure in Bern, the event operations, the supporting program and the marketing of the race in Switzerland, with the city of Bern making no financial contribution.
The Bern ePrix is located in the Ostberg district of the Swiss capital, Bern. The city’s small airport is located 11km to the south, offering connections with European cities such as London, Berlin and Munich. For international travellers, Zürich airport is around 1h 20 mins drive to the north east, with a connecting train line to Bern city centre taking a similar time. Trains with direct connections from the airport to the capital depart every 30 mins.
Alternatively, EuroAirport is located near the borders of Switzerland, France and Germany. Bern can be reached via Basel SBB train station in around 1 hour. Trains from Basel SBB to Bern depart every 30 mins.
The city can also easily be reached by public transport. The airport bus takes passengers to Belp train station. From there, you can take an S-Bahn to Bern main station. For visitors staying in Bern overnight, the journey by public transport from the airport to the city is included in the Bern Ticket.
Grandstand A can be reach via Viktoriastrasse, Sptialackerstrasse or Funkerstrasse. Grandstand B can be reach via Ostermundigenstrasse or Bolligenstrasse.