Bri­tish Grand Prix at risk as Sil­ver­stone own­ers play tough

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Sil­ver­stone will not host the Bri­tish Grand Prix af­ter 2019 un­less the cir­cuit’s own­ers gets a bet­ter fi­nan­cial deal from For­mula One own­ers, they an­nounced yes­ter­day just days ahead of this year’s re­newal.

The Bri­tish Rac­ing Driv­ers’ Club (BRDC) — who own Sil­ver­stone-an­nounced they were trig­ger­ing a break clause in its 17year con­tract and the Grand Prix would not be raced on their prized pos­ses­sion post-2019 un­less a re­vised agree­ment can be reached with Lib­erty Me­dia, who were not the own­ers of For­mula One when the orig­i­nal deal be­gan in 2010.

“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,” BRDC chair­man John Grant said.

“We sus­tained losses of £2.8m (3.1m, $3.6m) 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,” added Grant whose body has been in talks with Lib­erty over the is­sue.

Nearly 140,000 spec­ta­tors watched Bri­tain’s triple world cham­pion Lewis Hamil­ton claim his third con­sec­u­tive win at Sil­ver­stone last year. A near sell-out crowd is ex­pected again this week­end as Hamil­ton bids to re­duce rival Se­bas­tian Vet­tel’s 20-point lead in the ti­tle race. The cir­cuit, un­like many other tracks on the F1 cal­en­dar, re­ceives no govern­ment back­ing.

How­ever, the BRDC have been hit fi­nan­cially by the host­ing fee which goes up by five per­cent ev­ery year-from £12mil­lion in 2010, the year in which the new long-term deal started, to £17mil­lion this sea­son and £26mil­lion in 2026. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.