Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One team’s new factory in Northamptonshire has started construction in a ceremonial breaking-ground event.
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 race team.
The 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 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.
The team's executive chairman Lawrence Stroll says he plans to develop, expand 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.
Mr Stroll commented: "It is inspiring to look at where we are now in the context of the architectural and organisational challenges and ambitions that lie ahead.
"Our new buildings reflect not only the scope of our determination to become a World Championship-winning force, but also the scale of our growth and development as an organisation.
"I feel strongly that any building is a powerful representation of the people who work within it, and I am thrilled that we are creating a new home in which people can work, collaborate, create and win together.
"It is exciting to think that the entire team will be in its new home by the end of 2022 or the start of 2023, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our partners who are working on the project, especially JCB and Cognizant."
Lord Bamford, chairman of JCB, added: "This ambitious project firmly positions the new team headquarters on the Formula One landscape and provides a fantastic home and working environment for a group of extraordinarily talented and motivated men and women. "I am inspired by Lawrence's compelling vision for the team. It is an ambition we wholeheartedly share: to build a better industrial future for our country."
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