The BRDC say they can longer afford to pay the fees to F1’s owners, Liberty Media to host the event
BRITISH GRAND PRIX bosses, the British Racing Drivers’ Club, have announced that they will scrap the race after 2019.
The BRDC say they can longer afford to pay the fees to F1’s owners, Liberty Media to host the event.
In 2009, the BRDC signed a deal that was due to run until 2026 to safeguard the race’s future at Silverstone.
However, they have struggled to meet the five-percent annual increase and say the fee, which has gone from £11.5million to £16.2million this year, is forcing them to lose money.
John Grant, Chairman of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, said: “It is with regret that I am today announcing that the British Racing Drivers’ Club, the owners of the Silverstone Circuit, has triggered the break clause in its contract with Formula One, now owned and managed by Liberty Media.
“This means that, unless a new contractual arrangement can be reached with Liberty Media, 2019 will be the last year that the British Grand Prix takes place at Silverstone – the only viable venue for a British GP.
“This decision has been taken because it is not financially viable for us to deliver the British Grand Prix under the terms of our current contract.
“We sustained losses of £2.8m in 2015 and £4.8m in 2016, and we expect to lose a similar amount this year.
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“We have reached the tipping point where we can no longer let our passion for the sport rule our heads. It would not only risk the very future of Silverstone and the BRDC, but also the British motorsport community that depends on us.”
It is believed that the BRDC will now use their right to exit their agreement to try and renegotiate better, improved terms with Liberty.
Grant added: “I want to be clear that although we have now activated the break clause, we are fully supportive of the changes the Liberty team are making to improve the F1 experience.
“Our hope is that an agreement can still be reached, so that we can ensure a sustainable and financially viable future for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone for many years to come.”
However, the BRDC’s decision to break their agreement, just days before the British GP and ahead of a spectacular F1 demonstration in London, has drew criticism from the sport’s owners.
An F1 spokesman said: “The week leading up to the British Grand Prix, should be a week of great celebration for F1 and Silverstone.
“We deeply regret that Silverstone has chosen instead to use this week to posture and position themselves and invoke a break clause that will take effect in three years’ time.
“We offered to extend the current deadlines in order to focus on everything that is great about Silverstone and Formula One.
“Regretfully the Silverstone management has chosen to look for a short term advantage to benefit their position.
“Our focus is still to preserve the British Grand Prix. We will carry on negotiating with the promoter in good faith and in private to reach a fair and equitable solution.”