Formula 1

The British Grand Prix at Silverstone set to be no more after 2019

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Silverstone could host its last ever F1 race in 2019. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

The British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) have confirmed today that they have activated the break clause in their contract, which will see Formula 1 at the Silverstone Circuit come to an end after 2019.

The future of the British Grand Prix has been in question for months, as the BRDC deliberated over whether they could afford to continue hosting the prestigious F1 event for the foreseeable future.

With rights fees set to rise to £25 million by 2026, and no help coming from the British Government, the body which owns and operates the Silverstone Circuit decided it would not be cost effective for them to continue, and reluctantly called time on their tenure as host.

Chairman of the BRDC John Grant, said the decision was not taken lightly but the board agreed they could not continue to lose money at the rate they were, but also made it clear that he was hopeful of coming to a new arrangement with new F1 owners Liberty Media, to secure the future of the British Grand Prix in 2020 and beyond.

“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. 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.

“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 has been on the F1 calendar since the Formula 1 Championship began back in 1950, and although the venue also switched between Aintree in the 1950’s and Brands Hatch during the 1960’s to 1980’s, it has been a regular and highly popular venue ever since 1987.

It would be an absolute travesty if it were to disappear from the calendar considering its heritage, and would leave the home of motorsport without a F1 race to its name.

What are your favourite memories of the British Grand Prix? Let us know in the comments section below…

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