Motosport UK Chair David Richards warned that Mercedes could pull the plug on Formula 1 if Britain "leaves the European Union without a deal," according to the PA. Mercedes has "enjoyed tremendous success in recent seasons." This year, the team is bidding to win its "sixth consecutive drivers' and constructors' titles." Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff described no-deal Brexit as a "nightmare scenario" which could create the "mother of all messes" for the sport. Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29. Richards: "Looking at the investment that Mercedes have in Brackley, and the infrastructure that is already in place there, could a no-deal Brexit precipitate them stopping in Formula 1? Could it also lead to satellite operations in Europe with some teams moving there? It is a big infrastructure to move, so it won’t be straightforward. It’s not going to make life for a Formula 1 team based in England any easier" (PA, 2/19).
A LATE START: REUTERS' Alan Baldwin reported Williams F1 was hoping to get its new car on track for the first time on Wednesday, "days later than rival teams" that have been "busy testing since the start of the week, after finally getting it to Spain overnight." Williams has been "the only team whose car has yet to turn a lap." A team spokesperson said, "There is still a fair amount of work to do as expected so (it is) unlikely to run until after lunch, but everyone is doing as much as they can" (REUTERS, 2/20).