Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has voiced his concerns over a potential no-deal Brexit outcome, stressing it would have a “major impact” on its Formula 1 operation.
Britain is set to leave the EU on March 29 but has yet to agree terms surrounding its imminent departure, an issue that could have implications for F1 teams when travelling or importing goods both to and from EU countries.
Seven of the sport’s 10 teams are based in the UK, with Ferrari, Toro Rosso and Sauber the only exceptions; Wolff suggests Brexit would hand these three outfits “a massive advantage over every UK team”.
With the deadline fast approaching, Wolff, speaking to media on the first day of pre-season testing in Barcelona, fears F1 could be affected with the uncertainty of a decision.
“Brexit is a major concern for us and should be a major concern for all of us that live in the UK and operate out of the UK,” Wolff said, as quoted by Crash.net.
“We’re Formula 1 teams that travel to tests and travel to races at least 21 times a year. We are moving in out of the UK, our people move in and out of the UK, the way we are getting parts and services at the last moment into the UK and any major disruption with borders or taxes would damage the F1 industry in the UK.
“Our team is an international team, a German brand, that has its F1 operations in the United Kingdom and we have 26 different nationalities in our team and many EU citizens and uncertainty at the moment at whether the industry will be impacted by a no-deal Brexit or a Brexit.
“That is damaging to what is, to me, one of the outstanding industries in the UK.
“We have said before that it is the mother of all messes.”
Wolff also revealed Mercedes had been forced to prepare a consistency plan for both its F1 team and automotive industry in preparation for a no-deal result.
“We are looking at the various scenarios with Mercedes-Benz UK, because it not only impacts Formula 1 but it also impacts the mother brand and getting cars and parts in and out of the country,” added Wolff.
“If a no-deal Brexit would happen, I think it would have a major impact in terms of our operation going to the races and getting our cars developed and ready.
“That is a nightmare scenario that I don’t want to even envisage.”