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Andy_Bangle

Silverstone Activates Break Clause In British Grand Prix Contract

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Following on from recent rumours and reports, the BRDC has now announced that it has activated the break clause in its British Grand Prix contract. The BRDC signed a new contract for 17 years at the end of 2009, but it included a break clause that allowed the track to drop the race after 2019.

If the clause was going to be activated, it had to be done before the 2017 event, and the BRDC has now confirmed it – just days before this year’s race.

So, now, if a new agreement can’t be reached, there won’t be a British GP after 2019. 

The contract for the British GP included a 5% increase in race fees each year, and the huge cost of hosting an F1 round has been one of the major reasons for Silverstone doing what it has now done.

It’s the only suitable venue for the British GP and the break clause now means it can try to renegotiate better terms with Liberty Media, but the new F1 owners don’t seem happy about it.

Here’s a statement from BRDC chairman John Grant on the news:

“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.”

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In a statement from the F1 Group has said its behaviour was 'posturing' and the timing of the decision was unfair:

"The week leading up to the British Grand Prix should be a week of great celebration for F1 and Silverstone," 

"We deeply regret that Silverstone has chosen instead to use this week to posture and position themselves and invoke a break clause that will take effect in three years' time.

"We offered to extend the current deadlines in order to focus on everything that is great about Silverstone and Formula 1.

"Regretfully the Silverstone management has chosen to look for a short-term advantage to benefit their position."

The statement held the door open for talks with Silverstone to continue.

"Our focus is still to preserve the British Grand Prix," it added. "We will carry on negotiating with the promoter in good faith and in private to reach a fair and equitable solution."

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It they are losing money then maybe the price of having F1 is too much for them. Yeah its posturing to get them to lower the Bernie bill and the timing is unfortunate. Far far too many sports and entertainment are too expensive already. We pay nearly double the cost of US venues to watch a gig I'm sure the F1 is the same. 

Wasn't it you could get across to Spa and watch for the weekend including hotels for less than just the cost of the F1 tickets alone in the UK. 

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I was reading earlier that Silverstone is top crowd puller at 350k.  I know living locally it has plans for additional hotel accommodation and further expansions all with planning approval pending some recent revisions. None of this is cheap, and if they can't pull a profit then why continue with expansion plans. 

Its only business, you don't do it to go under, I can understand why the owners are pissed, if your top venue can't make a profit then that doesn't look good.

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9 hours ago, CarMad said:

Wasn't it you could get across to Spa and watch for the weekend including hotels for less than just the cost of the F1 tickets alone in the UK. 

1

Barcelona is one of the cheapest European GP's to attend - several budget airlines fly there, cheap hotels, and easy transport to the track +++ 

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I'm amazed they lose money on the GP. I thought it was one of a few major events that bankrolled them through the year.

I wonder if trackdays will be cheaper or more expensive as a result.

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