It hosted the very first World Championship Grand Prix in May 1950, but Silverstone could be about to call an end to its time as the home of Formula One.
It has emerged this week that the famous Northamptonshire venue’s owners – the British Racing Drivers Club – are considering the future of the event over rising costs.
The British Grand Prix is one of the very few Formula One races not subsidised by its nation’s government, with organisers enduring a tense relationship with the sport’s governing body, the FIA, for decades.
A letter from BRDC Chairman John Grant claims a decision will be made ‘mid-year’ over whether to terminate the current agreement.
The deal, which began in 2010, runs until 2026, but is believed to include a breakout clause after 2019.
The agreement bases itself on a five per cent annual escalator, meaning that by nine years’ time the BRDC will need to stump up more than £26m.
Given the continuation of Formula One’s dropping audience figures, and a lack of sponsor interest in the sport, Silverstone are paying an increasing amount for a decreasing return.
And the bookies have gone just 5/1 that Silverstone does not host the British Grand Prix in 2020.
The only ace up the circuit’s sleeve is that Silverstone is alone in providing the facilities required to host Formula One racing in the U.K.
And with seven of the sport’s teams based in the country, it seems unthinkable to not have a British Grand Prix on the calendar.
But having seen the French and German events fall by the wayside, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has made clear he holds little regard for heritage.
Silverstone’s best hope is that incoming new owners Liberty Media prove to be of a different ilk.
The same will apply for minnows Manor GP, who entered administration today.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing