According to ITV News, the management of Silverstone circuit is considering dropping the British Grand Prix due to its exorbitant costs.
The British Racing Drivers Club, which owns Silverstone and acts as the event's promoter, has apparently sent a letter to its members warning of the "potentially ruinous risk" of continuing to host the money-losing event.
In the letter dated December 19th, the BRDC chairman, John Grant, expressed a wish to "preserve the BGP" but told members "the Board is considering whether we should give notice before the 2017 BGP (as required) of our intention to exercise the break clause in the BGP contract at the end of 2019.
"This is not a simple decision, and we will consider fully all the implications before coming to a conclusion by mid-year."
While last summer's event was a big success, attracting about 139,000 fans, the race still led to a considerable loss.
The BRDC has found itself at odds before with Bernie Ecclestone and FOM, in 2003 and again in 2009, when Mister E. unsuccessfully tried to transfer the event to Donington.
Over the years, Silverstone Circuits Ltd's accounts have persistently presented a loss, forcing the company to undergo capital restructuring. A state of affairs which would make the BRDC's will to pull out of its F1 contract with FOM all the more plausible.
Sir Jackie Stewart, a former BRDC president, offered his assesment of the situation:
"I think it’s a credible threat. Not impossible for it to happen. I would be very sad if it did. There’s no other race track that would be able to host the British Grand Prix
As for Bernie Ecclestone, the F1 supremo appeared unfazed by the BRDC's potential decision.
"If they want to activate a break clause, there is nothing we can do," said the F1 supremo.
"Two other tracks have contacted us and we are keen to keep a British Grand Prix, there is no doubt about it, we want to have one.
"As far as Silverstone is concerned, it's not in our hands."