The future of the British Grand Prix has been cast into a shadow of doubt past 2019 as the BRDC have confirmed the activation of a break clause in its current contract with Formula 1. This will see the circuit stop hosting the race past 2019.
The activation of this break clause is a result of the rising costs of the race, with the cost increasing by 5% each year that the race is held, which would see the cost rise to up to £26 million - something that the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) is not able to afford.
"We have reached a tipping point," said John Grant, the chairman of the BRDC. "We can no longer let our passion for the sport rule our heads. We sustained losses of £2.8m in 2015 and £4.8m in 2016, and we expect to lose a similar amount this year. 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."
Silverstone has been the home of the British Grand Prix since 1987 and has held the race every year since, and will host the race weekend which will be the tenth grand prix of 2017.
F1's chairman Chase Carey regards the British Grand Prix as "critically important" to F1, and told BBC Sport that: "We are very much determined to have a race in the UK and our priority would be to try to find a solution with Silverstone but we are not there today. We have a race in place through 2019, so you are talking three years. So there has to be a little bit of a reality check of the timeframe we are dealing with." Carey also revealed that there was "interest from other places that would have appeal" elsewhere in the UK, potentially referring to the idea of holding a race in the Docklands area of London.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing