The referendum in June 2016 provided Formula 1 official, Bernie Ecclestone, with a reason to celebrate: as he had hoped and campaigned for, the British voted by a small majority to leave the EU. However, the consequences for his sport might be greater than the patriotic Brit was capable of foreseeing. Because eight out of eleven racing teams are based in England, and 70,000 jobs are directly and indirectly connected to motor racing. The decisive control of Formula 1 comes from the mainland – Mercedes’ money comes from Germany, Red Bull’s from Austria and others are financed from Japan, India or Italy. In future it is likely to become harder for the parent companies to work with their racing teams. “Unfortunately we pay for our engine in euros. All the effort we have expended on cutting the price by four million euros for 2018, has been cancelled out”, explains Williams team boss, Claire Williams, looking at the weak pound. She is also fearful of the reaction of the sponsors who are already holding back advertising money in Great Britain, and of the effects of statutory changes on the personnel situation. And there is also the threat of restrictions in personnel policy if the conditions for work permits change. “McLaren is based in the United Kingdom, and more than 3,000 families will be affected by our fate”, says McLaren boss, Ron Dennis.
But there are also voices in motor racing that share Ecclestone’s euphoria: “If we are no longer subject to the rules of the EU”, says Patrick Allen, Manager of the British Silverstone circuit, “our government will be able to provide greater support to the motorsport industry. As far as technology and innovation in this area are concerned, we have always been among the world’s best.”
Source: Driving news