Silverstone announces British GP contract break after 2019

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With mounting costs to run the race, the organizers at Silverstone have decided to activate a break clause in its contract following the 2019 British Grand Prix.

The British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) has been saddled with a steadily increasing contract over the years from its most recent contract it completed with past F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone.

This year, it pays F1 £17m to stage the race, with that fee set to rise to £27m by 2026 when the current deal ends.

In a statement released Tuesday, the organizers said they hope to renegotiate with F1’s new owners Liberty Media to bring that cost down to host the event.

But otherwise, if no deal can be reached, it leaves the future of the British Grand Prix in doubt beyond 2019, as another circuit would have to step up in its stead.

“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,” BRDC chairman John Grant said in a statement.

“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.”

“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.”

The full statement is linked here.

Beyond F1, Silverstone also hosts the traditional curtain raiser of the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series in April, along with MotoGP on August 27 in a deal that also includes a 2018 option.