Toto Wolff says the “really tragic” Brexit developments unfolding has made an entertaining watch but ultimately he fears about the impact of the political situation on his Mercedes team.

Last month during pre-season testing, Wolff openly slammed the Brexit negotiations due to the uncertainty triggered for Mercedes covering a wide range of matters including its employees, operations within Europe and trading.

Following the latest series of government votes, which has seen British Prime Minster Theresa May’s Brexit deal rejected for a second time, a no-deal situation rejected and an extension requested on the current Brexit deadline of March 29, Wolff says he sees the funny side in the uncertainty but feels it doesn’t hide concerns Mercedes’ holds over Brexit.

“For some time, I found it really tragic but that tragic has somehow changed to really good entertainment,” Wolff said. “It’s better than the Netflix thing [F1’s Drive to Survive], actually.

“Every evening I watched BBC.com and what they showed from the House of Commons and you’re not quite sure whether it’s Monty Python or whether it’s really happening.

“I will get in trouble there. I shouldn’t talk about politics. But for us, we have 26 nations in our company and it is a matter of concern. We are living from the just-in-time principle of getting goods in and goods and people out and if this were to be disrupted that would be a problem but I don’t think that can happen.”

Wolff also expects Brexit to impact the whole of F1, with seven out of ten teams based in the United Kingdom, and hopes for clarity in the coming weeks.

“Formula 1 is the silicon valley of the UK but there are many larger industries, the automotive industry, would be massively impacted if there would be the so-called no deal – I don’t know what no deal would actually mean,” he said. “But I think at a certain stage, common sense needs prevail. I would hope so.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has echoed Wolff’s comments as his squad faces a similar situation and concerns but wants to run his team like “business as normal” until Brexit is decided.

“Trying to follow what on earth is going on in British politics at the moment is rather difficult for all of us,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner added. “It’s slightly embarrassing from outside looking in at the way that politicians are acting within this whole process.

“The country obviously voted to leave and there seems to be too much self-agenda that’s being tabled at the moment so there’s almost a vote every day.

“Nobody’s quite sure what the votes are for. We don’t know whether we’re delaying, we don’t know whether we’re staying, we don’t know where we’re going. There’s an awful lot of confusion over it so for us.

“The reality is it’s business as normal, we’ll wait and see what and if and when Brexit does happen and when it happens then we’ll deal with it but of course you try and put as many what ifs scenarios in place as you can to protect the operation of your business.”

 

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