Selling Silverstone to Liberty to save British GP 'not on agenda'

The British Racing Drivers' Club says the idea of selling Silverstone to Formula 1 owner Liberty Media to help secure the British Grand Prix's future is not being considered

Selling Silverstone to Liberty to save British GP 'not on agenda'

The BRDC announced on Tuesday that it was activating a break clause in its contract to end its deal after the 2019 F1 race.

It has decided to take such action because a 5% promoter's escalator fee - which would have increased its fee from £11.5million in 2010 to £25m by '26 - meant the track faced unsustainable losses.

One suggestion that surfaced ahead of the announcement was for Liberty to purchase Silverstone from the BRDC so it could set up an F1 hub and testing facility to boost motorsport's profile in the UK.

But John Grant, chairman of the BRDC, played down such talk.

When asked by Autosport for his thoughts on the suggestion, Grant said: "We are basically open to consider all alternatives with Liberty to find a sustainable and viable future for the GP.

"But we have also said in recent months that it is the BRDC's strategic direction not to sell Silverstone circuit. We don't think we need to sell it.

"We see ourselves as the guardians of British motorsport.

"We think having the BRDC retain ownership of Silverstone helps achieve that long-term objective.

"So selling Silverstone is not actually on our agenda at the moment."

Grant said the ultimate aim of the desire to begin negotiations again was to get a contract that was financially sensible.

"The BRDC is not looking to make a shedload out of the British GP, but at the same time we are not a charity organisation," he said.

F1 management accused Silverstone of 'posturing' in its decision to activate the break clause and do so just days before the 2017 race.

But Silverstone's sporting director Stuart Pringle insisted the BRDC had not taken the decision lightly and was aware there was a risk of losing the British GP entirely.

"This is not posturing," said Pringle. "We absolutely don't do this lightly.

"No one likes running races more than the BRDC. We put on the event and we are conscious of the implications of our actions today.

"But we have reached the tipping point. We recognise that one of the possible outcomes of this is no British GP after 2019, and that would be a monumental shame."

Grant also rejected suggestions that Silverstone could have waited until after the British GP to make its announcement.

"It is actually a legal question," he said. "We only have one opportunity until our contract runs out to break the contract and stop losing money, and that is after the 2019 event.

"We have to give two years' notice on that, and the last day we can give notice is the last day before this event starts. We had no choice for that."

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