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Oh the horrors! Silverstone – the beloved holy cradle of the British GP since 1987 might not be hosting anymore F1 races. Why? Is it due to an alien invasion, global warming or a new epidemic? Nothing of that sort say the owners – the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC). This is rather due to it long having to run at a loss, and exacerbated by total lack of government subventions for operating the deeply historic and iconic track. Apparently fed up by the issue, the BRDC is reportedly considering breaking its contract clause with the FIA by the end of 2019. The current contact runs till 2026, and the decision by the BRDC on just what to do will be taken by them in the middle of this year.

Talking to the press, F1’s big bad boy Bernie Ecclestone was carefully non-committal and blandly affirmed the right and privilege of the BDRC to break contract if they felt aggrieved. He was confident that if that momentously calamitous event were to happen other suitable tracks would be speedily found to host the hugely popular event.

Digging deeper though, the issue seems to be the cost of the present contract which the BRDC signed in 2010. It costs £12 million yearly, with 5% annual increments added. While ostensibly a reasonable amount, the BDRC apparently sees it as being too extortionate and have adopted unconventional and positively Machiavellian methods of getting it reduced. Hence the threat to break contract and pull Silverstone out of the F1 calendar.

Their blackmail is certain to put F1’s new owners, Liberty Media in a tight spot as it seeks to consolidate power and rejuvenate, revitalize the F1 brand, with particular attention being paid to historic sites and events. Since Silverstone being withdrawn from the F1 calendar is clearly in no one’s interest, expect a compromise deal to be struck soon that will keep everyone somewhat happy. We just hope that all this keeps the streamlined cars whizzing by as we deliriously cheer.

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