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Construction starts on new Aston Martin F1 factory
Construction of Aston Martin’s new Formula One factory in Northamptonshire has begun and an official breaking-ground ceremony has taken place on the new plot.
Lawrence Stroll, Aston Martin’s executive chairman and Lord Bamford, chairman of JCB and sponsors of the Aston Martin F1 team, both attended the ceremony, which marks the official start of an 18-month construction and installation phase for a new headquarters for the F1 team.
The 400,000 square feet buildings – that will house a brand-new wind tunnel and simulator – 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 to early 2023.
The new three-unit factory will be constructed on land across the road from the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit. One building will house the team’s design, manufacturing and marketing resource; a second will be occupied by the team’s first-ever wind tunnel (they currently use Mercedes’ facility); 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 the new headquarters 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 new factory will house every manufacturing resource within a single campus – the team currently operates from several discrete buildings, with additional work outsourced externally.
The new wind 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 wind tunnel, 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.
As a new build, the Aston Martin factory will be the first Formula One facility to benefit from the full installation of smart factory intelligent systems. In concert with partners Cognizant, NetApp and Sentinel One, the new factory has been designed from the ground-up to be a wireless, adaptive, streamlined facility – one whose information streams, monitoring systems and manufacturing processes are tied together via data in the cloud.
Lawrence Stroll, executive chairman of Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team, said: “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.”
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.”