Silverstone Breaks Hosting Contract With Formula One
F1's new American owners couldn't keep the circuit's owners from their breaking point.
Last week, we examined alternative venues for Formula One's British Grand Prix, in the wake of the announcement that Silverstone was looking to free itself from the worsening hosting fees faced annually by the track's owners, the British Racing Drivers' Club. Alternative venues, such as Brands Hatch and Donington Park, were posited, with Red Bull Racing bigwig Christian Horner since engaging in his default mode of operation, pot-stirring, by suggesting that a London Grand Prix is a third alternative in the event of a divorce between Silverstone and Formula One. Today, it came out that Silverstone has indeed opted to break their contract with Formula One, and after the 2019 event, there is no guarantee of a viable host for the event.
It is reported by Motorsport.com that BRDC opted to break their current contract in light of the ever-escalating hosting fees faced by the track, which have put the BRDC's take-home in the red as of 2015, when they lost £2.8 million GBP. The 2016 event cost them almost twice as much, as it hemorrhaged £4.8 million from their coffers. The BRDC does not want to discontinue hosting the event, and instead plans on renegotating the hosting contract so that they may once again profit from the race. They believe the less vampiric relationship of Liberty Media and circuit owners in contrast with Ecclestone-represented CVC will allow them to not only work out something mutually beneficial, but something more sustainable.
The F1 Group has hit back at the BRDC, claiming that the circuit's owners are making their announcement in the week leading up to the British Grand Prix to increase their leverage in future negotiations. Liberty Media has stated that they wish to maintain a British event's presence on the race calendar, so the BRDC may soon have the upper hand in negotiations.