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Featured Silverstone bemoans 'potentially ruinous' costs: Considers Break from 2020

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Premium

    Silverstone threat.jpg
    The British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC), owners of the Silverstone Grand Prix track, are reportedly looking at the possibility of breaking from their commitment to host the British Grand Prix at the end of the 2019 Formula One season, citing the ever rising costs of hosting a Grand Prix as a "potentially ruinous risk" to a circuit devoid of any Government funding.

    In a letter from BRDC Chairman John Grant seen by ITV News in the UK, Grant goes on to spell out the dangers of continuing the 17 year contract signed back in 2009 and confirms "the Board is considering whether we should give notice before the 2017 BGP (as required) of our intention to exercise the break clause in the BGP contract at the end of 2019."

    "This is not a simple decision, and we will consider fully all the implications before coming to a conclusion by mid-year."

    The current contract between Silverstone and the Formula One group has a get out clause that must be activated before the 2017 event, coming in to effect at the end of the 2019 racing season.

    According to ITV News "The accounts of Silverstone Circuits Ltd, filed at Companies House, show that the race track is making persistent losses, In 2015 the company lost £5 million on turnover of £55 million and underwent a capital restructuring". With these kinds of losses against a track that unlike many on the current calendar does not receive any government funding to help alleviate some of the incredible costs associated with hosting a Grand Prix, it is perhaps not unsurprising that the board of directors are willing to investigate any and all possibilities to ensure the safe future of this legendary circuit.

    Silverstone BRDC letter.jpg
    Part of the letter seen by ITV News from the BRDC chairman. Credit: ITV News

    When questioned as to the legitimacy of the details laid out in the BRDC letter, Chief Eecutive of the Formula One Group Bernie Ecclestone said: "If they want to activate a break clause, there is nothing we can do.

    "Two other tracks have contacted us and we are keen to keep a British Grand Prix, there is no doubt about it, we want to have one.

    "As far as Silverstone is concerned, it's not in our hands."

    It is not certain as to which two tracks Ecclestone refers, as no other location in the UK is currently capable of hosting a Grand Prix standard event. Doinington Park in Leicestershire has previously shown an interest in hosting the race, even having gone as far as securing a contract to host the race from 2010 onwards following a promise of major redevelopment work at the venue, however a comedy of errors of judgement and dubious intentions of the now defunct Donington Ventures operation saw an end to that endeavour and almost financially ruined a circuit left in major disrepair following the failed redevelopment. Donington have since renovated the original track and continues to host major national and international events, however how much of an appetite the track owners will have to engage in the major financial risk required to host a Formula One Grand Prix remains to be seen.

    It will be interesting to see how much of a genuine threat the letter represents, or if this is a clever ploy by the BRDC to drive down the hosting fees post 2019 remains to be seen.

    The Formula One sub forum here at RaceDeparment is the ideal place to come and discuss the world of Grand Prix racing while we wait for the green light to blink at Melbourne in March. Head on over to the forum and join in the discussion today!

    What do you think of the potential loss of Silverstone from the Formula One calendar? Do you think the FIA should do more to protect historic events on the schedule? Let us know in the comments section below!
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
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  2. MoerasGrizzly


    Cadwell Park for F1!
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  3. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Premium

    I'd give my right arm to see Donny get the GP, without the loss of any of the original character of the current track. Can't see it happening sadly, so hopefully Silverstone can sort this all out and remain on the calendar. For me F1 must retain its heart of historic European locations, even going as far as bringing back some of the sadly missing events like Imola and Estoril, plus a few other nice tracks such as Jerez wouldn't go amiss too :)
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  4. The cost of hosting just seems scandalous, ticket prices are rediculously high and they still can't make a profit. Donny is a great track but the access to the track is beyond poor. Went to the Moto GP back in the day and took me 4 hours to get out car park.
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  5. Craig Patteson

    Craig Patteson
    Natural Born Racer XB1 Gamertag RIPDazza8405 Premium

    hopefully with new owners in place from next year prices can be brought down or stabilised
  6. Peter Stokman

    Peter Stokman

    the money made by F1 goes to wrong persons /institutions
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  7. Glaurung

    Staff Premium

    Totally agree.
    The only way for F1 to save its reputation and heritage losing Silversone is to replace it with Donington.
    But the sad truth is that F1 is always more losing it's european roots and tradition, in favour of bags full of exotic $, that eventually the track owners in EU are always more less able to guarantee, risking bankrupt for the foolish costs requested by Bernie & Co.
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  8. If F1 will lose UK GP they will end to make another GP in another worthless country on a shiny boring Tilkedrome...
    F1 is almost dead right now and if they lose UK too it will be another nail in the coffin...
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  9. Piotr Dul

    Piotr Dul

    Maybe it would be a cold shower for that greedy b****rd Eccleston.
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  10. Sky


    They should do an oval race at rockingham.
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  11. Rodent


    Not even a fan of Silverstone but F1 cannot afford to loose more of it's European presence or it risks rapidly becoming marginalized by an up and coming series. If we loose more tracks and get a less than elegant solution to safety like the halo I could absolutely see sportscar racing overtaking them as a the premier motorsport with it's diverse sounds and impressive silhouettes. Blancpain, IMSA and the WEC all put on better shows this year and raced at some truly amazing locations.

    Will be very interesting to see if Liberty Media can turn F1 around.
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  12. James Cook

    James Cook
    Marcas fan

    Whatever anyone thinks of the circuit itself, Silverstone is one of those famous old venues synonymous with F1. The circuit is dripping in history and draws a huge, passionate crowd every single year.

    Silverstone is Formula One. Lose it and another part of F1's soul gets ripped out.

    F1 needs to take a long, hard look at itself.
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  13. kedy89


    Wouldn't miss it, since I never liked the infield layout. Hope they completely drop the British GP then, otherwise they'd just ruin whatever track they picked as replacement, to bring it up to "F1 standards" (i.e. turn it into a parking lot).
    Let them go to other exotic places instead, with tons of money and empty tribunes on their newly built Tilkedromes. F1 is beyond saving anyway.
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  14. ThatRacingGuy

    I drove 88 MPH last night... weird stuff happened Premium

    Cadwell Donnington or Oulton park for F1? :D
  15. No surprise really.
  16. BoogerMac


    Are F1's earnings made public? I'm curious to see what kind of profits they pull in because the muscle they throw around from a business standpoint is unbelievable. FIA as a whole are borderline bullies.
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  17. mantasisg


    I suggest England to simply build a new track specifically just for F1. Something comfortable to spectate, safe and lap ~1'50.

    I present my suggestion "Chicane park". Chicane in a chicane could be its main feature.
  18. Andrew Scott

    Andrew Scott
    Virtual Hoon! Premium

    There's part the problem right there, the FOM and Bernie asking way to much to host the F1 circus, seems the only ones making any profit is Bernie & Co. Add the fact the UK gov isn't financial enough to assist the BRDC in keeping one of the worlds oldest and most iconic tracks a part of the F1 calendar. Would be interesting to see if the BRDC lost money in 2016 & 17, 2015 may of just been a bad year. Basically the cost of hosting an F1 event is getting beyond affordability for many track owners.
    Would have to agree there :thumbsup: it would be very interesting to see where all the money goes, other than paying the top teams big fat incentives to stay in the circus.
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  19. To be honest, I don't think the British GP could be held anywhere else. Donington and Brands would put on a worst GP.

    F1 is worth saving but the people in charge need to go. Jean Todt is a effing idiot. What's worst is we are stuck with him until 2020. Bernie needs to agree deals with circuits that will put on a show rather than these boring street circuits. We don't need Baku or Sochi. They are waste of time. We need proper circuits which will provide good racing. I hope Liberty Media will agree reasonable deals with circuits so the sport doesn't lose gems in the calendar
  20. Azure Flare

    Azure Flare
    World's fastest mobile chicane Premium

    Formula 1 was born at Silverstone. But nothing is sacred in F1 anymore. We don't have a German GP anymore, France is only just now coming back, Brazil is close to dropping off the calendar, and Italy always seems to be on the chopping block every other year. I'm not adverse to F1 racing in new places, but must we really need to sacrifice iconic venues to do so?
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