Aston Martin says it expects its new Formula 1 facility to be a “gamechanger” for its long-term prospects, as construction enters its final stages.
A £200m facility is under construction adjacent to its existing factory at Silverstone, with the state-of-the-art building – which will house the expanding team – due to be functional in May 2023.
Once the team has moved into the first building, the existing factory will be demolished and replaced by another facility, in which a new simulator will be installed.
The final stage of the project is a new windtunnel, located in a third building, and which is expected to be operational by mid-2024.
The design of the main building includes a 160-metre-long central boulevard, around which different departments will be located, including a large open plan design headquarters.
“The fact you can talk to people without having to arrange meetings – it facilitates dialogue easily,” explained Aston Martin boss Mike Krack.
“The other thing is logistics, to bring stuff from left to right or from A to B it will be massively easier [in the new factory], so from that point of view I agree with using the name gamechanger, for team dynamics and logistics.
“[The way we] run [the factory] now with different locations is also costing quite a lot in terms of logistics and building rentals, so it is about efficiency and we make a step there.
“You have the ability to make everything yourself but you have the ability to decide: do you buy or make it? And you can make it [a component] faster – if you can make them also cheaper it means you can make more, and maybe one or two upgrades more due to time and due to financial reasons you couldn’t do [before], so I think it is a good step.”
Technical Director Dan Fallows, speaking alongside Krack during a media tour of the new facility, highlighted some its anticipated benefits.
“Efficiency covers all of it,” Fallows said. “Efficiency in terms of cost, time, one of the things that marks out a competitive team is its ability to turn things around quickly, to go from design to reality in the shortest possible time.
“There great leaps forward you can make in efficiency with that type of facility, and obviously in a cost cap world anything you can do to maximise efficiency of the cost of those parts is worth doing.
“Also with the smart factory, we have the ability to be much more detailed in terms of the analytics, detailing the production process and analysing that in a way that allows us to improve it much more than using external people.”