Formula One: Silverstone could ditch British Grand Prix - report

LONDON (AFP) - The future of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone could be under threat because of the "potentially ruinous risk" of staging the race, a report said on Thursday (Jan 5).

Silverstone first hosted the British Grand Prix in 1950 and has been the event's permanent home since 1987, but the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC), which owns the circuit, are reported to be considering activating a break clause in their contract.

ITV News reported that a letter from the BRDC's chairman John Grant outlines the "potentially ruinous risk" of continuing to host the loss-making event.

The letter, dated Dec 19, says that although the organisation wants to "preserve the BGP (grand prix)" they are considering giving notice to exercise a break clause in their contract at the end of 2019.

The BRDC's contract with Formula One runs until 2026.

Grant says in the letter that they will consider all the implications before making a final decision "by mid-year" on a race that last year attracted 139,000 fans to watch Britain's Lewis Hamilton take first place.

Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One ringmaster, told ITV News: "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."

Silverstone declined to comment on the letter but told ITV News that the 2017, 2018 and 2019 races are not under threat.