Silverstone Trigger Break Clause - What Next for British GP?

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    Silverstone Break Clause Triggered.jpg
    The BRDC, owners of the Silverstone circuit, have confirmed a break clause has been triggered that effectively terminates the deal to host the UK's round of the Formula One World Championship after 2019.

    Currently under contract to host the Formula One British Grand Prix until 2026, the British Racing Drivers Club have the option to terminate their agreement with Formula One at the end of the 2019 running of the event, a clause in which they have activated ahead of the race this year.

    BRDC Chairman John Grant said of 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.”

    It is generally understood that Silverstone have to pay an annual increase of 5% on the original deal brokered by former World Champion Damon Hill back in 2010, with the initial £11.5m fee rising to as much as £25m by the end of the current agreement.

    Suffering yearly losses despite the incredible attendance figures each season, the BRDC have been forced to play their hand and protect the long term interests of the circuit either with or without the headlining Grand Prix event.

    Although signalling the end of the current arrangement, the BRDC are thought to be keen to sit down with Liberty Media and the FIA to thrash out new terms on a deal post 2019, however with a mooted event around the streets of London and the ever present, albeit distant threat of rival tracks Brands Hatch and Donington Park, it is by no means certain that Silverstone will retain the race in a new deal with the power brokers of the sport.

    Despite the loss of prestige that would come with losing the British Grand Prix, Grant feels that retaining the event is not critical to the success of the venue and a "bright future" could still be possible without Formula One.

    "While we would hate to lose the British Grand Prix, Silverstone will have a bright future without it – both commercially and in terms of continuing to serve as the heart of the British motor racing community.

    "But losing the British Grand Prix would have a negative impact that is felt far beyond Formula 1 and Silverstone.

    "Seven out of the 10 F1 teams are based in the UK – many close to Silverstone. This brings vital jobs to the country, as well as having a positive impact on the local communities and economy.

    "There’s a good reason why the area around Silverstone is known as the 'Silicon Valley of motor sport'. Take away the British Grand Prix and this is all placed at risk."
    As news of the Silverstone deal ripples through the Grand Prix community, Red Bull Team Principle Christian Horner warns that unlike previous years, Silverstone are no longer the only game in town capable of hosting a Formula One race in the UK.

    “Silverstone is a wonderful track,” said Horner. “The teams and the drivers love driving there. Liberty has made a commitment that there will be a British Grand Prix.

    "But with this London event happening tomorrow (street demonstration), if that was a success – which hopefully it should be – with the recent legislation changes that are happening in the City of London, one can imagine a London Grand Prix being pretty attractive to the Liberty guys.

    “Silverstone needs to be a little bit careful how they handle themselves and negotiate, that they don't find themselves losing out. I am amazed that they have triggered their break clause.”

    It is expected that parties from the BRDC and Formula One will begin negotiations as to the future of the British Grand Prix in the very near future.

    For more Formula One related news and discussions, check out the Formula One sub forum and get yourself involved with the community.

    Do you think Silverstone can retain the British Grand Prix after 2019? What other options exist for Formula One in the UK? Let us know in the comments section below!
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
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  2. Gopher04


    I still think they can be around after 2019, lets not forget all these contracts and costs were setup by the greedy dwarf, so hopefully Liberty will come up with something, or maybe Ron £275m Dennis might help out..if not people are already looking at the Dockland GP..
    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. Philip Antonia

    Philip Antonia

    Brexit part 2!! Lol :)

    Hopefully they can get a better deal, as the circuit owners for Formula 1 GP's shouldn't be making a loss whilst F1 makes a huge profit from them! There would be no GP's if it wasn't for the Track owners etc!!
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  4. Shaun Clarke

    Shaun Clarke

    Move to a more spectator friendly track. I know they ruled Donny out, but why, after all the upgrades, BH GP, even Snetterton 300, it's hold the GT series now.

    F1 5miles form me...ROFL
  5. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte

    SIlverstone / London
    Yeah, sure seems a few are playing with the BRAKE bias eh..

    Commercially let's face it for Liberty, and London too, it would be more attractive and could make a profit. Already UK ticket prices are a joke, Silverstone lost nearly 5 million in 2016, gees that is just dumb. How much was Berney making with the contract they signed?

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  6. Timmy UK

    Timmy UK

    Oh dear.
    Sad news, indeed.
    However, you have to ask, why on earth did they agree to those terms...
    And sign it.
    They would need over 200,000 people in attendance at least.
    Ok, so perhaps the way forward is heavily sponsored stands, lots of them around the track.
    They have the room..
    Let's not have a debate for once, let's think of some proactive ideas.
    Doubling the price does not count....
  7. kondor999


    At least they're guaranteeing that there will be a British Grand Prix. But I'd hate to see that promise kept in the form of another compromised, temporary street circuit.

    Silverstone is assuredly not my favorite track (nearly zero elevation change, courtesy of its airfield origins) but the venue is iconic and F1 has already lost enough "heritage" circuits in favor of greedy-dwarf-friendly venues like Korea and Turkey.

    F1 have to be exceptionally careful not to further dilute their brand by replacing "anchor" tracks like Silverstone, where so much of their history currently resides.
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  8. Gui Cramer

    Gui Cramer

    It might be good for Silverstone and maybe another layout modification without the ridiculous F1 or Herman Tilke b.s. parameters that go with them.
  9. Nick Gregory

    Nick Gregory
    Forever a backmarker Premium

    Liberty pls.
  10. Jimlaad43

    Nice apex, I'll take it! Staff Premium

    Over 10 metres more like. Stowe down to Club is a big drop, Abbey to Village is a big climb. Elevation change doesn't guarantee a good circuit, look at Hungary.

    Melbourne, Shanghai, Sochi, Montreal, Singapore, Mexico and Abu Dhabi all have less elevation change than this "flat" airfield circuit.
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  11. kondor999


    Oh come on. You're being a little pedantic. You and I both know that, subjectively, this is one of the the flattest circuits to actually drive on (along with the other circuits you mentioned). That (very small) elevation change is spread out to such an extent that, subjectively, it's almost impossible to notice.

    Compare Silverstone to Donington Park, where you've got the big drop down from Redgate/Hollywood, down the Craner Curves, down to the old hairpin, then you zoom back uphill to McLeans and Coppice. Now that's an exhilarating roller coaster ride!

    There is not a single "big climb" at Silverstone, unless you live in a desert basin somewhere and have no other point of reference. How could there be? The circuit was built on an airfield. It's not exactly at the foothills of the Styrian Alps ;)

    The other circuits you mentioned are simply also very flat and, aside from Melbourne and Montreal, are some of my least favorite. Not coincidentally.

    And Hungary is a fantastic circuit - just not for F1 cars (or anything else that demands perfectly clean air through corners). It drives like a miniaturized version of the Nordschleife IMHO. But yeah, for F1 it produces terrible racing.
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  12. Bobby Pennington

    Bobby Pennington
    Assetto Corsa Club Manager Staff Premium

    Bernie was both good and bad for the sport imo. It's exactly like NASCAR has done.....alienate their base.

    F1 is first and foremost a European sport with world wide reach. The heart is and always has been Europe. Bernie and Co. just went on a torrid looting spree and sold out to the highest bidders for what??? Cookie cutter tracks and bags of cash. Great short term but can and will lead to an uncertain future if things aren't handled correctly.

    Yes, money is a good thing, but you have to remember your base and that is worth something in return. With punishing Fees for hosts, I don't really blame them for saying work with us or take a hike. Personally, as a US citizen, I loved it when Tony George said no, go jump in the lake, even though I had been to all but 1 of the GP's at Indy.

    Let's hope Liberty sees what NASCAR has done to itself, learns a lesson and says we absolutely have to keep Silverstone. I commend the BRDC.
  13. Celestiale


    I think Silverstone is the worst of the famous British tracks (both to drive, and to watch races), so i am not fussed at all.
    Now get some balls and bring on Cadwell Park :laugh:
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  14. aphidgod


    Sounds to me like they've bailed from the current bad deal with the idea of renegotiating a better one. Seems sensible enough. I hope Liberty's stated commitment to the traditional venues is sincere and they get something done.
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  15. Fat-Alfie

    David Pemberton Premium

    But if Liberty agree new terms for Silverstone, what's to stop all the other circuit owners demanding a renegotiation?

    I say go to Donington instead :)
  16. JPL083


    So here is point for a question, now when original legendary and already half-killed (Tilkeded) Silverstone is leaving. What British GP-Track you want to be ruined by F1 next? Example Donington has quite much old school run of area's to be covered by asphalt and so on. Hhhmmm...
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  17. Ricardo Rey

    Ricardo Rey

    For all the reasons, good and bad, regarding venues that come and go, there are many that I miss and probably for the wrong reason. Sentiment and nostalgia. I would miss Silverstone.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  18. P*Funk


    Maybe them not having a contract that lets them ditch their existing contracts and them not having a product f1 wants to renegotiate to retain on the calendar?
  19. Nick Hill

    Nick Hill

    I'm sorry, but Liberty has to do something. Having no German GP on the calendar last year was a big black eye, but at least you could say attendance had been awful. The British GP at Silverstone is always packed and it is F1s home race - I think it would be an absolute PR nightmare to lose it.
  20. fortyfivekev


    This is a gamble by the BRDC but they have a strong hand so it will probably pay off long-term.

    The idea of a London GP is pretty far fetched. The time when politicians in this country could have justified spending money on F1 has long passed. Boris Johnson might have gone for a London GP but a Labour mayor is never going to fund it and I can't see Liberty shouldering all the funding, they are in it to make a profit after all. Docklands is surrounded by some of the poorest parts of London, you can just see the headlines now.

    And, like it or not, Silverstone is head and shoulders above the other British tracks in terms of access, grandstand seating and spectator facilities. Donington, Brands, Oulton, etc. may be more fun to drive (in sims at least) but if you have sat in the traffic for a BTCC/BSB round you know that getting 5x to 10x the number of fans into these places isn't going to fly.
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