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Silverstone Owners Trigger Break Clause to Host F1

The British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) – owners of the Silverstone Circuit that currently hosts the British Grand Prix – have triggered a break clause in their contract to host the British Grand Prix.

The break will take effect in 2019. Which means that the Silverstone Circuit will host it’s final F1 race in 2019.

The BRDC felt that the deal currently in place to host British Grand Prix is unsustainable and they continue to make losses every year when hosting the race.

“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 John Grant the Chairman of the British Racing Drivers Club.

“We sustained losses of £2.8m in 2015 and £4.8m in 2016, and we expect to lose a similar amount this year.”

Grant says that they have reached a tipping point and have to be realistic about their situation and not make decisions based on their emotions.

“We have reached the tipping point where we can no longer let our passion for the sport rule our heads,” he added

“It would not only risk the very future of Silverstone and the BRDC, but also the British motorsport community that depends on us.

“However, 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.”

Silverstone the Home of the British Grand Prix

Grant said that they decided to sign the deal in 2009 because it was the only deal on the table to ensure that the race was not lost and to keep the British Grand Prix on the F1 calendar.

“The challenges associated with the contract signed in 2009 with the then owners of Formula 1 have been well documented,” Grant said.

“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.

“Despite being the most popular weekend sporting event in the UK – with a live audience of over 350,000 attendees – the net revenue we receive is not enough to cover the Grand Prix’s share of our overhead costs, let alone turn a profit.”

No F1. No Problem

Grant warned that should Silverstone be dropped from the F1 calendar, many jobs could be on the line. The majority of the F1 teams on the grid have factories that are situated in close proximity to Silverstone. Force India’s factory is situated right opposite the road from the circuit. He added that Silverstone would do fine without Formula 1.

“While we would hate to lose the British Grand Prix, Silverstone will have a bright future without it – both commercially and in terms of continuing to serve as the heart of the British motor racing community.

“But losing the British Grand Prix would have a negative impact that is felt far beyond Formula 1 and Silverstone.

“Seven out of the 10 F1 teams are based in the UK – many close to Silverstone. This brings vital jobs to the country, as well as having a positive impact on the local communities and economy.

“There’s a good reason why the area around Silverstone is known as the ‘Silicon Valley of motor sport’. Take away the British Grand Prix and this is all placed at risk.”

F1 Group Hits Back

Triggering the break clause will allow the BRDC a chance to re-negotiate the terms of the deal and possibly a cheaper fee to host the race. But the F1 Group has hit back at the announcement by the BRDC saying that the used the announcement to “posture and position” themselves.

“The week leading up to the British Grand Prix should be a week of great celebration for F1 and Silverstone,” said the F1 Group in a statement.

“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 1.

“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,” it added. “We will carry on negotiating with the promoter in good faith and in private to reach a fair and equitable solution.”

About Ritesh K Bhana

Ritesh likes to think he is a true Tifosi, but he still remains fair to other teams. He supports two other teams which are not Red Bull and McLaren. Follow Ritesh on twitter @Humanshield_1

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