Brexit fears grow in Formula 1

Date published: January 20 2019

UK motorsport governing body and three teams consider writing to Theresa May over no-deal Brexit.

UK motorsport’s governing body and three Formula One teams are considering an approach to prime minister Theresa May amid concerns of a no-deal Brexit.

David Richards, head of the UK’s racing authority Motorsport UK, has been lobbying the government over the United Kingdom’s impending exit from the European Union.

He is now believed to have spoken with three teams on the issue, with tensions growing further after May’s Brexit deal was rejected by MP’s by 230 votes – the largest defeat suffered by a government in the House of Commons since the First World War.

If Britain was to leave the EU on March 29 with no deal, a major issue to face Formula One could be the absence of any trade deals and freedom of movement with member states.

This could prove disastrous for the European section of the Formula One calendar, which hosts nine of the 10 races from mid-May to early September.

There is also the issue of hiring staff from EU countries, particularly in manufacturing and shop-floor roles, as well as the cost of importing and exporting goods.

Richards spoke with three teams prior to the Commons vote last week, with all parties being in agreement that regardless of the Brexit outcome, a no-deal scenario must be avoided.

Speaking at last week’s Autosport International Show, Richards highlighted how Britain is a Formula 1 stronghold, with seven of the ten teams calling it home.

“Something we should be so proud of is the top F1 teams and world champions based here,” he explained.

“And we’re going to make their lives difficult. We’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

While the identity of the teams involved will remain private, it is believed to include one of the biggest on the grid.

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