ENSTONE, England: The seven British-based Formula One teams have asked the government to help ease post-Brexit border crossing and permit problems and are hopeful of a solution, Alpine principal Otmar Szafnauer said on Wednesday (Jul 5).
Team bosses, along with Formula One head Stefano Domenicali and other representatives, attended a meeting at Downing Street with Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer on Tuesday ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix.
“We had a good meeting with the government and just asked them for their support for motorsport in general, promoting the fact that we’re working hard at becoming more sustainable,” Szafnauer told Reuters.
“Also we asked them for help with crossing the border.
“It’s doable, but its not efficient,” he said of the current situation. “It’s difficult. Also the movement of people with work permits. If they could just help in that area that would be great.
“They do something similar with the entertainment industry so they said ‘well if we got it done there we should look at Formula One in the same way and try to get it done’. So they were positive.”
Britain’s departure from the European Union ended freedom of movement for EU citizens in Britain, as well as for goods and services.
The motorsport industry employs more than 40,000 people in Britain with an annual turnover of 9 billion pounds (US$11.43 billion), according to the Motorsport Industry Association.
Renault-owned Alpine have their Formula One factory at Enstone in central England, a short drive from the British Grand Prix track at Silverstone, with more than 900 employees from many countries.
The engines are made in France by Renault at Viry-Chatillon near Paris.
Alpine’s sportscar factory is also in France, at Dieppe.
Other British-based teams are Mercedes, McLaren, Williams, Red Bull, Haas and Aston Martin.
Ferrari and Red Bull-owned AlphaTauri are based in Italy and Alfa Romeo/Sauber in Switzerland.
“Car parts, every time you (go) back and forth, it is problematic. It’s not efficient,” said Szafnauer. “It could be a lot better. It used to be a lot better before Brexit.”