Aston Martin have started work on a new Formula One factory and wind tunnel that team owner Lawrence Stroll said underpins his commitment to the sport and aim of fighting for world championships over the next three to five years.
Construction of Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team’s brand-new buildings (a new factory and a new windtunnel) in Northamptonshire has begun and a ceremonial breaking-ground ceremony has taken place on the new plot.
Aston Martin Executive Chairman Lawrence Stroll and JCB Chairman Lord Bamford both attended the ceremony, which marks the official start of an 18-month construction and installation phase for a new headquarters for the Formula One team, which has been designed by Ridge and Partners LLP and project-managed by Ridge, construction consultancy Gardiner & Theobald, and the team’s own in-house resource.
Talking about the facility which is expected to be completed by late 2022 or early 2023, Aston Martin Executive Chairman Lawrence Stoll said:
The 400,000 square feet (37,000m2) buildings will become the new home of the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ team, which has outgrown its existing facilities and will rapidly grow its current headcount by the expected completion date of late 2022 or early 2023.
The new three-unit factory will be constructed on land across the road from the historic Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit: one building will house the team’s design, manufacturing and marketing resource; a second will be occupied by the brand-new windtunnel; and the third will redevelop and repurpose the existing factory premises as a central hub featuring staff amenities and a logistics centre.
The construction of a brand-new headquarters is a significant cultural landmark for the sport – it marks the first all-new factory in F1 in the UK for 17 years, the most recent being the McLaren Technology Centre, in Woking, which was officially opened in 2004.
As such, it is a serious indicator of the scale of the ambition of the team’s Executive Chairman Lawrence Stroll, who is developing, expanding and upgrading every facet of the organisation in a quest for World Championship-winning performance.
For the first time, the new factory will house every manufacturing resource within a single campus – the team currently operates from several discrete buildings, with additional work outsourced externally.
In addition to the upgrade and expansion of facilities and machinery, the new factory will be complemented by a brand-new windtunnel and a brand-new Formula One simulator.
The new tunnel will use the latest steel-belt rolling-road system, and a state-of-the-art flow-imaging section area. For the first time in the team’s history, the site will incorporate the windtunnel, model support and production facilities – a move that will bring significant development-rate benefits.
The commissioning of the windtunnel is due to start in Q3 2023.