In a big blow to many British Formula One fans, the owners of the Silverstone circuit activated a break clause in their contract. This will mean the the circuit will only play host until the 2019 season. The situation was that the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) were dissatisfied with the terms and conditions of the current contract and were looking for new financial terms.
This is not a good sign for the British GP just days away from the 2017 edition. “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,” said BRDC Chairman John Grant. “We sustained losses of £2.8m in 2015 and £4.8m in 2016, and we expect to lose a similar amount this year. 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.”
Grant also said that although they activated the clause, they admired the work done by Liberty Media to improve the sport and they hoped that they would be able to reach an agreement. A decision had to be made regarding the future of British motorsport and F1 had offered to extend the deadline to the end of July, which was rejected. They also offered to take over the race for the next five years, but that was also rejected as the BRDC did not want a third party involved. “Looking back, the decision to sign this contract was made to preserve the British Grand Prix and ensure this great, historic race was not lost. This was the only deal on the table at the time and the decision was taken to keep the British Grand Prix alive. But the reality is that for many years the British Grand Prix has made a net loss.” said Grant.
In a press release the BRDC stated that they were determined to secure a sustainable future for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and they hoped that an agreement with Liberty Media could be reached