The British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) has activated the break clause in Silverstone’s contract to host the British Grand Prix after 2019.
The move comes after the event – reported to have caused the BRDC a net loss of £7.6 million over the last two years – has become financially unsustainable under the current terms.
The contract, negotiated during Bernie Ecclestone’s tenure in charge of FOM, has a 5% escalator fee that would have pushed the annual cost of hosting the race to around £25 million.
However, the BRDC are hopeful of securing a revised agreement with Formula 1’s new owners, Liberty Media, to allow the race to remain at Silverstone beyond 2019.
No other race circuit in the UK would be able to host the Grand Prix without significant infrastructural improvement.
Liberty Media says it remains committed to discussing and securing the future of the race.
“It’s not financially viable for us to deliver the British Grand Prix under the terms of our current contract,” BRDC’s John Grant told the assembled media.
“We have reached the tipping point where we can no longer let our passion for the sport rule our heads.”
The F1 Group responded robustly to the news, criticising Silverstone for exercising it’s break clause in the week building up to the race, which includes a promotional demonstration event entitled ‘F1 Live’ in London on Wednesday evening.
“We offered to extend the current deadlines in order to focus on everything that’s great about Silverstone and F1.
“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.”