Following concerns from Formula 1 team bosses, reported by Autosport magazine, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake has warned that Brexit would “put Britain into the gravel trap”.
Seven of the ten current F1 teams, including world champions Mercedes, are based in the UK.
Jonathan Neale, Chief Operating Officer of the Woking-based McLaren team, told Autosport that after Brexit “It would cost us more time and be more difficult to recruit” and that border restrictions will mean higher costs, as well as “more paperwork, more administration”.
Toto Wolff, team principal of Mercedes, which has its F1 factories in Northamptonshire, described Brexit as “not a very pleasant development”.
Meanwhile, Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene has suggested that his team will gain as EU staff leave the UK. “I suspect in the near future we will find a lot of people that are knocking on the door of Maranello,” he said, referring to the team’s factory in northern Italy.
Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:
“Right now Britain is leading the race, but Brexit would put us into the gravel trap.
“Our homegrown F1 teams rely on European talent to build winning cars and rely on our frictionless border to get them to the track. New restrictions will only hold them back.
“Liberal Democrats demand better. We demand that the people get the final say, with the option of an Exit from Brexit.
“It’s time to put the brakes on Brexit and get the UK back on pole position.”
The Autosport article, published today, is available here: https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/140561/why-f1-teams-are-worried-by-Brexit