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BRDC poised to exercise British GP break clause

The British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) is set to activate the break clause in its contract to host the British Grand Prix at Silverstone as it seeks to negotiate more favourable terms for the Formula One race, according to the Mail on Sunday.

The BRDC, which owns the Northamptonshire circuit, has until the opening day of the 2017 British GP weekend, July 14, to activate the clause which allows it to pull out of the lengthy contract after the 2019 edition of the motor racing showpiece.

Silverstone’s 17-year F1 race deal agreed in 2009 includes an annual escalator clause for its hosting fee of five per cent. This will bring it up to around £27m (€30.7m/$34.4m) by 2026 and the BRDC, which receives no financial backing from the UK government to stage the grand prix, is keen to negotiate fresh terms with F1’s new owners, Liberty Media.

Philip Walker, a BRDC director, told the Mail on Sunday: “It is highly probable we will have to activate the break clause.”

Another senior BRDC figure, who asked not to be named, added: “It is not Liberty's fault. They would like to be of assistance but time has been too short and we will now give ourselves a longer stretch to sit down with them again and plan for the future.”

The British GP is traditionally one of the best attended events on the F1 calendar. The 2016 race drew 139,000 fans to Silverstone but is still said to have fallen short of budget. One of the classic events of the F1 calendar, the British GP has been staged on an annual basis since the series’ formation in 1950.