John Grant, Chairman of the British Racing Drivers' Club, said: "This decision has been taken because it is not financially viable for us to deliver the British Grand Prix under the terms of our current contract".
"The decision leaves the Grand Prix's long-term future in doubt just two days before teams and drivers arrive at Silverstone for this year's race".
"But the reality is that for many years the British Grand Prix has made a net loss".
He said in a statement: "We have reached the tipping point".
"I don't feel Formula One is winning, and it hasn't been for a long time", he was quoted as saying earlier this year. The race organizers said the fee will have leapt to 25 million pounds by 2026 - the a year ago of the current contract.
The BRDC and Silverstone want to continue its relationship with Formula One, but they will not do so at the cost of financial ruin.
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A five per cent fee escalator built into the deal means that what was a cost of £12m in 2010, has become £17m for 2017, and was set to exceed £27m by 2026.
Grant insists the circuit's future can be bright without F1 if an acceptable deal is not found in the future.
"Our focus is still to preserve the British Grand Prix".
"It would be shocking to lose Silverstone from the calendar and even more shocking to lose a British Grand Prix when you consider 80% of the teams are based within the United Kingdom and how much the United Kingdom contributes to F1 from a historical point of view". "We recognise that one of the possible outcomes of this is no British GP after 2019, and that would be a monumental shame". We can not continue to sell our core assets in order to fund the Grand Prix.
"Although we have now activated the break clause, we have made it clear that we are open to working with our friends at Liberty to find a solution that works for all parties", he said.
However, fans hoping to see the British three-time world champion drive his Mercedes will have to wait until the opening day of British Grand Prix practice at Silverstone. "Having the British Grand Prix at Silverstone - the biggest occasion on the motor racing calendar - serves as a focal point for so much of what is great about United Kingdom motorsports, and the wider engineering and manufacturing sectors".
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