As Formula 1 heads into its 1,000th race this weekend, the series has been running a throng of content celebrating many of its most iconic races and milestones over the decades. One thousand races is a lot and it all started back in 1950 at a circuit called Silverstone in the UK.
Silverstone has a rich history in Formula 1 but it chose to trigger a break clause in their contract shortly after Liberty Media purchased F1 (July 2017). The circuit, owned by the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC), felt the yearly sanctioning fee to host the F1 race was too much and they were hoping to negotiate better terms.
The cost of hosting a race differs from circuit to circuit but some of the last deals former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone inked were north of $20M with a 5% escalator per annum. As Liberty Media began extending deals and offering host cities, such as Miami, less expensive deals, existing circuits began grumbling about the price they were locked into paying. Silverstone had an escape clause and chose to use it.
According to the Financial Times, the BRDC and F1 are close to securing a deal with the main issue being the yearly cost for the hosting rights. The FT article suggests that the two parties are 3 million Pounds apart with the BRDC offering 15 while F1 wants 18 million.
Part of the Miami deal was less fees for hosting and more revenue-share with F1. Curious that isn’t being sought after by Silverstone who have said in the past that race is not very profitable for them. Depending on which story you believe, they lose money by hosting the event.
The one thing in the Reuters article that has me a bit stumped is the suggestion that they are hovering in the range of $20-23M dollars but that seems on par with previous yearly fees and the main reason Silverstone triggered the break clause. I would have thought Silverstone would look for a Miami deal or far less yearly fee.
Silverstone has rattled its sabers and F1 has considered other venues int eh UK but with many of the teams located around the Silverstone area, the old WWII airfield is an essential part of F1’s legacy and that’s on the heels of their 1,000th race that all started at Silverstone in 1950.
Hat Tip: Reuters