Why Aston Martin’s new campus is a ‘reverse’ McLaren MTC

After a COVID-enforced two-year delay, Aston Martin’s ground breaking ceremony last week to begin work on its new state-of-the-art Formula 1 factory and campus marks an important moment.

Aston Martin Campus
Aston Martin Campus
1/9

Photo by: Aston Martin Racing

Aston Martin Campus
Aston Martin Campus
2/9

Photo by: Aston Martin Racing

Aston Martin Campus
Aston Martin Campus
3/9

Photo by: Aston Martin Racing

Aston Martin Campus
Aston Martin Campus
4/9

Photo by: Aston Martin Racing

Aston Martin Campus
Aston Martin Campus
5/9

Photo by: Aston Martin Racing

Aston Martin Campus
Aston Martin Campus
6/9

Photo by: Aston Martin Racing

Aston Martin Campus
Aston Martin Campus
7/9

Photo by: Aston Martin Racing

Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal and CEO, Aston Martin F1, Anthony Bamford, chairman of JCB, and Lawrence Stroll, Owner, Aston Martin F1
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal and CEO, Aston Martin F1, Anthony Bamford, chairman of JCB, and Lawrence Stroll, Owner, Aston Martin F1
8/9

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal and CEO, Aston Martin F1, Anthony Bamford, chairman of JCB, and Lawrence Stroll, Owner, Aston Martin F1
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal and CEO, Aston Martin F1, Anthony Bamford, chairman of JCB, and Lawrence Stroll, Owner, Aston Martin F1
9/9

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Listen to this article

With owner Lawrence Stroll making clear his lofty ambitions to be world championship winners in the next three to five years, he understands that the team could not keep going as it was.

Still operating out of the Silverstone facilities that originally housed Jordan Grand Prix in 1991, Aston Martin’s increasing reliance on temporary offices has left it in a state where, if it is truly serious about winning world titles, it’s no longer fit for purpose.

As a result, Stroll has signed off on an ambitious 400,000 square foot campus plan to be built on the land he has acquired around the current premises.

This will include a factory, wind tunnel, conference centre, auditorium, heritage department and other offices.

As well as being fully sustainable, it will feature state-of-the-art 5G facilities and the latest technology to ensure that Aston Martin can be right at the forefront of the latest advances.

With a final cost estimated somewhere between £150 million - £200 million, it is hoped that the team will be able to move in at the end of 2022 or in early 2023.

The Aston Martin facility will be the first all-new factory constructed from the ground up in F1 since the McLaren Technology Centre was opened in 2004.

But whereas the famous MTC was laid out in the vision of Ron Dennis as a truly spectacular statement of intent for the Woking-based organisation, there is somewhat an argument of it being fashion over function.

While still looking amazing, it’s been cited as having a sometimes sterile atmosphere inside, and has struggled at times to adapt to the fast-changing needs of a modern F1 and automotive operation despite its immense size.

Stroll sees his vision for the Aston Martin campus as the complete opposite – of a place that is designed not because it looks good but because it delivers exactly what the staff needs.

That means better communication, speeded up processes to push forward with car development and a facility that is big enough for the 1000 personnel that Stroll hopes to have on board over the next few years.

Speaking about the new factory to selected media, Stroll said: “This is the reverse of what Ron Dennis did with [architect] Norman Foster, with the McLaren Technology Centre.

“This is a business, this is factories, and a campus, fit for purpose to match the DNA, and the culture of ourselves, of our history.

“The purpose what it's been built for is to be able to be efficient, and to be streamlined. And again have everybody sitting side-by-side under one roof.

“This is taking into consideration the new financial regulations, and also taking into consideration where we believe this sport will be going in the future.

“So we can build more bays if we want, we can shrink too: but not by shrinking the size of the building, but moving people closer together. This is a building that will truly represent our image, our culture and our DNA.”

Read Also:

Stroll is clear that without pushing on with the new factory, then Aston Martin would have been left struggling to keep up with the progress that he wants to see on track.

“With the current factory, it would have really been difficult,” he said. “We're right now adding these temporary offices, little buildings that you put down on the ground to house the constantly growing workforce we have.

“The communication isn't the best because everybody's dislocated all around various parts of the factory. So, the improvement in communications and research development, in design, it was a necessity.

“We could not continue to grow, to the headcount I want to grow to, with the existing premises. Not possible.”

But beyond the clear benefits Stroll sees for Aston Martin staff in having the new campus, what it also makes clear is just how committed he is to the F1 project.

With the Silverstone-based team having run through a series of owners in its times since Eddie Jordan sold out – under its Midland, Spyker and Force India eras – Stroll says he intends to be around for the long haul.

“This is a long term investment,” he said. “No offence to any of my predecessors, none of them have my history or the track record of the successes I had.

“I'm clearly passionate about this. This is a great business opportunity. I see Formula 1, as a business value of each individual team, significantly appreciating in the years to come.

“It’s not any different to any other sports assets, if you look at an NFL football team for example. Ten years ago, an NFL football team was worth a billion dollars, but today you can't buy a franchise for less than $4 or $5 billion. So this is a long term plan.

“This is something I plan on being involved with, because I'm still a young man, I believe I am at least, for many, many years to come. You don't make this kind of investment, and this plan, to retreat in any way, shape or form.”

And, while Liberty’s F1 era will be defined by its attempts to level the playing field on the grid in terms of finances and performance, Stroll is clear that there is still no cut-price way to the front of the grid.

If you want to come out on top in F1, you need to dig into your pockets.

“I think money always talks very loud, doesn't it? And It will continue to,” he said.

“We all know about the budget cap, and we also are all very realistic of all these exclusions, not included in the budget cap.

“For us, this campus was long overdue. Again covid costs us two years, otherwise we'd already be completed, or close to completion.

“But in order to compete to win, which is what I am here for, this tool is 100 percent needed.

“What you need to win, is you need the right leadership and vision, which I believe I bring. You need to finances to be able to afford it, you need the best people in the industry, and you need to give them the best tools and processes.

“We already have a lot of great people, but this is delivering the tools and the processes in order to recruit the ones we don't have.

“Plus I can give them my guidance, and the senior management team’s guidance and leadership, in order to fulfil all of our dreams.”

Aston Martin Campus

Aston Martin Campus

Photo by: Aston Martin Racing

shares
comments

Related video

Ten things we learned from F1's 2021 Italian Grand Prix
Previous article

Ten things we learned from F1's 2021 Italian Grand Prix

Next article

Horner: Verstappen "shouldn't have been near" Hamilton after pitstop drama

Horner: Verstappen "shouldn't have been near" Hamilton after pitstop drama
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Prime

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Prime

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Prime

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? Luke Smith asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Prime

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Prime

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Prime

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 'holiday' races kept drivers busy through the winter Prime

When F1 'holiday' races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Prime

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week, and though it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted more just why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action.

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023