The future medium-term the british Grand Prix at the circuit of Silverstone could be in doubt due to the high costs for the organization of the event. That is the conclusion reached by the British Club Drivers (BRDC), in charge of the management of the circuit, in a letter sent last December 19, the members of the club, and that has been published in the british channel ITV.
Its president, John Grant, has referred to the situation as “the elephant in the room”, a formula, rhetoric and the british used to a situation that is obvious to deliberately spite of being very evident, and raises the severity of the dilemma. Speaking of which, despite the 139.000 viewers, which attracted the last Grand Prix and the victory of the british pilot, were generated losses of 2 million pounds sterling (approximately € 2.3 million), and that it is feared that a bad streak is fatal to the circuit, although he says that Silverstone hosts enough events to “absorb the losses even after 2019”.
“it Is widely acknowledged that no european tour win money by organizing a Great Prize. We believe that Silverstone makes it better than many, attracting regularly to a wide audience and enthusiastic, and offering the best entertainment that we are allowed to give. Although, even in a good year, the Grand Prize does not generate enough money to cover its share of costs, our greater concern has always been the risk of a bad year”.
“we See the arrival of Liberty Media as something that has the potential to bring changes that could improve the Formula 1 in several ways and that, over time, can lead to a balance more equitable for developers like us. We would love to preserve the Grand Prix at Silverstone for many years, but only if it makes sense to do so, and we have to protect our Club to the risk of potentially ruinous of a couple of bad years“.
Grant believes that “ifn some changes in the economic equation, the risk and the return are not in harmony”, and claims that the BRDC is “exploring several alternatives,”. The most drastic, would be to “communicate before the Grand Prix of 2017 our intention to exercise the clause of breach of contract by the end of 2019“, something that some developers, like the Malaysian Grand Prix, it would already have taken place. This measure is one of several that are being studied; it is clear that “is not a simple decision, and we will consider fully all the implications”, setting time limit for a decision “at mid-year”.
“If you want to activate a clause break, we can do nothing”
Before this, some of the main figures of the engine are british have been pronounced. Sir Jackie Stewart, three-time world Formula 1 and the winner at Silverstone in 1969 and 1971, has stated to ITV that referred to in the letter is “credible”, that no other circuit in the Uk you can arrange a Great Prize, and that the executive Theresa May should act to prevent the loss of the Great Prize and the jobs that it generates. On the contrary, Bernie Ecclestone has stated that “two other circuits we have been contacted, and we are willing to keep the british Grand Prix, without a doubt, we want to have one. In what Silverstone is concerned, is not in our hands. If you want to activate a clause break, there is nothing we can do“
Silverstone hosted the first race of the Formula 1 World championship in 1950, and up to the date has welcomed 49 Big Prizes of Great Britain, 51 counting the two prior to the celebration of the World, alternating first with Aintree and then Brands Hatch to be the permanent headquarters since 1987. Despite the many changes through which it has passed since 1973, the circuit has just lost a character, although his status as a circuit of extremely high speed, then it was gone in the modifications of 1991.
In 2003 came the first pulls with Ecclestone, who in 2009 signed a contract of 17 years to move the race to Donington Park, with Silverstone claiming his MotoGP event. However, the amendments referred to in Donington were paralyzed and finally cancelled due to financial difficulties, and Silverstone are stuck with the contract, using a modification intended for the bikes. The next year it will host its 50th race in the Formula 1 World championship, and the continuity of the event is guaranteed until 2019, but what happens after is yet to be determined.