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.
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 wind tunnel; and the third will redevelop and repurpose the existing factory premises as a central hub with staff amenities and a logistics centre.
A serious statement of intent
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 wind tunnel 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 wind tunnel, model support and production facilities – a move that will bring significant development-rate benefits.
Recruitment: people at the heart of growth plan
Development of the new site is also coupled with an ambitious recruitment drive. Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team has already made several notable technical appointments in the past few months and is continuing actively to recruit across every level of the organisation.
Many of the new roles will be filled by experienced experts already working within the motorsport sector, but others will be open to local talent within the neighbouring community.
Formula One’s first-ever ‘smart factory’
As a new build, the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team 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. The support of our key technical partners both underlines their commitment to the organisation and also the validity of the solutions they provide.
Smart factory tech gives the new building the ability to constantly adapt to the cyclical manufacturing processes of a Formula One team, and will provide significant economies of scale and function as the team expands its production presence.
Lawrence Stroll, Executive Chairman, 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.
“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.”