Silverstone could drop British GP after 2019
5 January 2017 – The Chairman of the British Racing Drivers' Club, John Grant, has acknowledged that Silverstone could exercise a break clause in its contract, meaning that it could drop the British Grand Prix after 2019.
Silverstone, which hosted the inaugural Formula 1 race back in 1950, has been the home of the British Grand Prix since 1987, and penned a contract extension in 2010, through to 2026.
However, a break clause inserted in the contract, which gives Silverstone the right to drop the race after 2019, can be triggered before the running of this year's event, and senior figures are contemplating such a move.
In a letter leaked to British broadcaster ITV, written to BRDC members in December 2016, Grant states that the BRDC board would "like to preserve the race for many years to come".
However, the letter goes on to warn that "we have to protect our Club against the potentially ruinous risk of a couple of bad years".
Grant confirms that the board is "considering whether we should give notice before the 2017 BGP (as required) of our intention to exercise the break in the contract at the end of 2019.
"This is not a simple decision, and we will consider fully all the implications before coming to a conclusion by mid-year."
Grant also acknowledges that "no European circuit makes money from running a Grand Prix", but that Silverstone does "better than most".
However, he warns that "even in a good year, the BGP does not generate enough cash to cover its share of site overheads, [and] our major concern has always been the risk of a bad year".
Grant goes on to comment that the arrival of Liberty Media, which is poised to acquire Formula 1 in the first quarter of 2017, "could maybe lead to a more equitable balance for promoters such as ourselves".
This year's British Grand Prix will take place at Silverstone on July 16.