Zurich Airport to launch its own Formula 1 racetrack


Together with Zurich Airport, the e-sports and racing simulator start-up Racing Unleashed presents its first self-designed virtual racetrack: the "Zurich Airport Circuit". Zurich Airport could be the only airport in the world with its own virtual Formula 1 racetrack.

The e-sports start-up Racing Unleashed stands for a world-class virtual racing experience. In February 2022, Racing Unleashed will open a racing lounge with ten simulators covering an area of over 400m2 in the Circle at Zurich Airport. With six racing simulators, the Racing Unleashed pop-up lounge, near the Circle main square, has already become the meeting place for all racing enthusiasts. In realistic, premium racing simulator cockpits with F1 handlebars, drivers race on the virtual version of famous racetracks. Zurich Airport will now launch its own F1 racetrack, the "Zurich Airport Circuit", likely a world first.

Zurich Airport Circuit

The goal of the first racetrack designed by Racing Unleashed is for the virtual to be as realistic as possible. At 7.6 km, the length of the “Zurich Airport Circuit” is longer than the average of existing F1 tracks, primarily because the track is based on the realities of Zurich Airport and is demanding in terms of driving. The start/finish of the "Zurich Airport Circuit" is at the Circle. Winding through a large section of the airport, the "Zurich Airport Circuit" includes top-speed straights and a total of 22 changes of direction per lap, including S-curves, hazards and a hairpin bend. The names of the curves are derived from Zurich Airport and racing: Cargo Curve, GAC hazard (General Aviation Center), BP Turn, Swiss-S or Rega Curve. Thanks to these curves that require technically precise driving, the 7.6 km long airport racetrack is not purely a full-throttle track – despite straights such as RUnway (RU Racing Unleashed) and Dock E.

With the Zurich Airport Circuit, we are breaking new ground together with Racing Unleashed and offering our visitors a unique racing experience in a class of its own. The common goal was to create a virtual racetrack that is as close to reality as possible, combining top speed sections at the Circle and on Runway 34 with sophisticated hazards at Dock E and Cargo. We're looking forward to the launch and are excited to see the reaction from the racing community.
Mark Schwarz, Senior Manager Innovation & New Business Flughafen Zürich AG

The new "Zurich Airport Circuit" will make its racing debut on Sunday, December 12, 2021. At the "X-mas Final" of the Racing Unleashed Competition, racers in the Racer and Challenger League (professional and amateur leagues) will race on the new airport circuit for the first time. Another premiere: Never before in RU-Sim racing have racers trained, qualified and raced with so little preparation time. They will be allowed to train for two hours on the new track. Usually, racers have a month to prepare for a race on a circuit that they have known for years.

We are very pleased to be working with Racing Unleashed and, with this partnership, are once again demonstrating that innovation is a top priority at Zurich Airport's Circle. In addition to the existing technology hub with our office tenants, the Circle at Zurich Airport is set to become one of the most important e-sports hubs in Switzerland. Together with Racing Unleashed and our Zurich Airport Circuit, we are taking an important step in this direction.
Stefan Feldmann, Head The Circle Flughafen Zürich AG

About Racing Unleashed

Racing Unleashed is completely immersed in the world of e-sports. Established at the end of 2018 by Francisco Fernandez, a Swiss entrepreneur and founder of the banking software firm Avaloq, Racing Unleashed aims to make the very expensive world of motorsports accessible to the population at large. Monisha Kaltenborn, former co-owner, CEO and team boss of the Sauber Formula 1 team, has been leading Racing Unleashed since mid-2019. Racing Unleashed operates several Racing Lounges in Switzerland and abroad, including in Madrid and Munich.

We are very pleased to present Zurich Airport Circuit, our first self-designed virtual F1 racetrack. The partnership with Zurich Airport is mutually enriching: Both partners offer worlds of discovery and excitement and share the same vision of 'digital first' innovation. We also share the aim of making the Circle’s technology hub one of the leading e-sports hubs in Switzerland.
Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO & Member of the Board Racing Unleashed AG

Worldwide, e-sports rank as the fourth-largest sport, boasting some 454 million fans in 2019. In terms of revenue, the video game industry is larger than the film and music industries combined. In Switzerland, the results of market research are also clear: one in three Swiss women play video games at least once a week and one in twenty Swiss men watch e-sports without playing competitively themselves. More information can be found on the official website of the International Esports Federation (IESF).

About The Circle

The Circle is a commercial center jointly owned by Zurich Airport Ltd and Swiss Life AG. Since its opening in autumn 2020, the new district at Zurich Airport invites guests to discover the world of brands, and to relax and enjoy the ten restaurants and cafés. Two hotels belonging to the Hyatt group, a congress center accommodating up to 2500 guests, an outpatient health center of the University Hospital of Zurich, attractive office space as well as art, culture and education complete the wide range of services at Switzerland's largest national airport. The Circle, with its accompanying park, is a cultural and economic resource that extends beyond the airport region. The project was realized in joint ownership by Zurich Airport Ltd, holding 51 percent, and Swiss Life AG, holding 49 percent.

Recorded press event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxweZxhNmog