The British Racing Drivers’ Membership, house owners of Silverstone Circuit, have confirmed it’s triggering the break clause in its F1 contract to host the British Grand Prix placing the historic race at main threat.
The BRDC had till this week to determine whether or not to proceed its long-term contract – supposed to final till 2026 – or whether or not to start proceedings to exit the deal early, having beforehand indicated it might probably’t meet the phrases of its deal.
The announcement means the 2019 British Grand Prix would be the final except a brand new deal is sought.
The foundation of the BRDC’s issues stem from the unique 17 yr deal agreed between itself and Bernie Ecclestone’s FOM in 2009, which might see an incremental improve on the internet hosting price of 5 per cent.
It meant that regardless of the British Grand Prix proving one of many yr’s greatest attended occasions – with 130,000 revellers arriving on race day in 2016 – it has sustained rising losses from the rising outgoings coupled with inflation.
As such, with a clause break out there at this stage within the contract the choice has been taken to start proceedings to finish the contract 7 years early in 2019 than threat larger losses to 2026, which the BRDC says will put the venue itself beneath risk.
“It’s with remorse that I’m at present asserting that the British Racing Drivers’ Membership, the house owners of the Silverstone Circuit, has triggered the break clause in its contract with Formulation 1, now owned and managed by Liberty Media,” mentioned BRDC Chairman John Grant.
“Which means, except a brand new contractual association could be reached with Liberty Media, 2019 would be the final yr that the British Grand Prix takes place at Silverstone – the one viable venue for a British GP.
“This choice has been an especially tough one for us to take. The BRDC is on the coronary heart of British motor racing and we have now been selling the pursuits of our sport and its followers for generations. We have been the custodians of Silverstone for nearly 70 years and have nurtured the British Grand Prix into one of many world’s nice sporting events. The BRDC has additionally invested £50m during the last 10 years to enhance services right here at Silverstone.
“Nevertheless, we have now reached the tipping level the place we are able to now not let our ardour for the game rule our heads. Put merely, it’s now not financially viable for us to ship the British Grand Prix beneath the phrases of our present contract.
“By operating the British Grand Prix we sustained web losses of £2.8m in 2015 and £four.8m in 2016 – that is £7.6 million over two years. We anticipate to lose an analogous quantity this yr. To proceed on this path shouldn’t be solely unsustainable, it might put in danger Silverstone, the house of British motor racing.”
The choice might be seen as new F1 house owners Liberty Media’s first main check concerning offers with venues.
Although Silverstone has been vocal about its want to renegotiate its phrases, Liberty Media has been coy in regards to the prospect of agreeing a brand new deal by way of worry it can set precedent for others to do one thing related.
Alternatively, F1 chairman Chase Carey says he does not wish to lose one of many sport’s most iconic venues leaving scope for a rescue deal to be organised within the meantime.