Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff fears a “nightmare” potential no-deal agreement for the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union could cause “the mother of all messes” for Formula 1.

With the UK scheduled to leave the EU on March 29 but still without an agreement for the terms of its departure, preparations are being made by many companies, industries and government bodies for a no-deal Brexit.

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Team bosses have spoken at length in the past about the impact of Brexit on F1, with seven of the 10 outfits currently based in the UK, employing staff members hailing from all over the world.

Speaking on Monday in Barcelona, Wolff stressed how concerned Mercedes bosses were by the lingering uncertainty with Brexit

“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.

“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 confirmed that both Mercedes’ F1 operation and the wider car company as a whole had begun on contingency plans in case of a no-deal Brexit taking place on March 29 (during the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend).

“We are looking through the various scenarios with Mercedes Benz UK,” Wolff said.

“If a no deal Brexit would happen like it is being discussed, I think it would have a major impact in terms of our operation in terms of going to the races and getting our car developed and ready.

“That is a nightmare scenario that I don’t want to envisage.”

Wolff added that he thought teams based outside of the UK, naming Ferrari and Alfa Romeo, would gain a “massive advantage over every UK-based team."

Asked if F1 as an industry has been short-sighted by not preparing for a no-deal Brexit, Wolff said: “No, we are racing team operators and not politicians.

“As racing team operators and businessmen, you will always think rational thinking is going to prevail and eventually protect an industry or the British economy.

“I think that we are seeing, at least what F1 feels like, is very exposed to the decisions that could be made on a political level and that is a risk for our people and for the industry.”

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