The future of the British Grand Prix is under threat following a decision from the owner of Silverstone to cease hosting the race after 2019.
In 2009, the owners of the circuit, the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC), signed a contract extension to continue hosting the race until 2027. However, the contract contained a break clause to cease hosting the race after 2019 and just a couple of days before this year’s British GP, that clause has been activated.
Speaking to the BBC about its decision to abandon the race, BRDC chairman John Grant said it has become too costly to host and that a new deal is the only way to save the event.
“We can no longer let our passion for the sport rule our heads. We sustained losses of £2.8m in 2015 and £4.8m in 2016, and we expect to lose a similar amount this year.
“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,” Grant said.
On the back of the news, Formula One owner Liberty Media said it was saddened by the BRDC’s decision and that a new deal could be reached.
“The week leading up to the British Grand Prix should be a week of great celebration for F1 and Silverstone. We deeply regret 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.
“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,” Liberty said.