The British Racing Drivers’ Club has said it had “no option” but to opt out of its Silverstone Formula 1 contract. However, the track’s owners are hopeful that they can reach a new deal with Liberty Media to keep hosting the British GP after 2019.
Following months of negotiations with the F1’s new American owners, the BRDC’s chairman John Grant, said that it was “no longer financially viable” for Silverstone to host the race under the current contract.
The 17-year contract, which was signed eight years ago, was thought to be the only option to preserve the event’s short-term future, but a 5% fee escalator means that what was a cost of £12 million in 2010 will exceed £27 million by 2026.
Furthermore, Grant also confirmed that the circuit had lost £7.6 million in the last two years despite the event’s popularity.
Speaking to Sky Sports News HQ Grant said, “It’s very simple, the costs are more than the revenues. We generate a lot of revenue from this event, probably more than any other F1 race, but we still have substantial costs.”
Nonetheless, the BRDC remains optimistic of reaching a new deal in the next two years and hopes to form an agreement that ensures “a sustainable and financially viable future for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone”.
While Grant admits this won’t be easy, he is adamant that a solution can be found to satisfy both sides and that they will manage it within the next two years.
In response to the decision Liberty Media released a statement accusing the BRDC of “posturing”. However, Grant insists that the organisation is not posturing and that it lefts its options open for as long as possible before taking the last legal opportunity to terminate the contract.