London (AFP)

The British Grand Prix may have to leave Silverstone in 2020 due to "potentially ruinous" costs, the circuit's owners have revealed.

In a letter published by ITV News on Thursday, the president of the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) warned the organisation's members about the viability of the race.

"The board is considering whether we should give notice before the 2017 BGP (British Grand Prix) of our intention to exercise the break clause in the BGP contract at the end of 2019," John Grant wrote.

"We have to protect our club against the potentially ruinous risk of a couple of bad years."

This year's British Grand Prix, scheduled to take place in July, will go ahead as planned.

Silverstone first staged the race in 1950 and has hosted it continually since 1987, but despite attracting 139,000 spectators last year, it has recorded a deficit in the last two years.

According to the terms of the current contract, a 17-year deal signed in 2009, Silverstone paid almost £18 million ($22.2 million, 21 million euros) for the right to stage the 2016 race.

The figure rises by five percent every year.

The BRDC keeps the funds raised by ticket sales and a proportion of hospitality money, but receives nothing from television rights or sponsorship.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said two other circuits have expressed an interest in staging the British Grand Prix.

"If they want to activate a break clause, there is nothing we can do," he told ITV News.

"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."

Ecclestone attempted to move the race to Donington in 2009, but the move fell through.

Silverstone is located in the historic cradle of F1 in Britain.

Force India, Haas, Mercedes, Manor, Red Bull Racing, Renault and Williams are either based or have facilities near Silverstone, which is situated north of London between Northampton and Milton Keynes.

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