Why the British GP is a home race for most F1 teams
Formula 1 is an international sport that visits 21 different countries each year, has 15 different nationalities on the grid, and has a kaleidoscope of backgrounds up and down the paddock.
But for the majority of teams this weekend’s British Grand Prix is undoubtedly a home event.
Stick a pin in the border between Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire and you’ll have struck the heart of what is dubbed Motorsport Valley, with race teams, suppliers and contractors dotted all over.
Three of the 10 Formula 1 teams run under a British license but eight have foundations in the country.
Automotive giants Mercedes calls Stuttgart, Germany its home but the Formula 1 team is based in Brackley, just off the A43 to be precise, while its engine base is located in Brixworth, a 45-minute drive to the north (which will take you right through Silverstone).
Red Bull Racing is Austrian-licensed but the cars are produced on an industrial estate in Milton Keynes, and have been since it took over from the Ford-run Jaguar team in 2004. Engine supplier Honda is based in Japan but a crucial R&D base is located in Milton Keynes, meaning one of the UK’s newest cities has strong ties to Formula 1.
McLaren’s glistening futuristic Technology Centre, opened at the turn of the century, houses the Formula 1 team and its Automotive arm, and is located just outside of Woking, a stone’s throw away from Heathrow Airport.
Renault’s engine base is across the English Channel in France but its car continues to be developed near the small village of Enstone, with the facility having had several different names above the door owing to the team’s various guises through the years.
Formula 1’s newest team is licensed in the United States – where its official headquarters is in Kannapolis – while it has a strong alliance with the Italy-based Dallara organisation. But its European base, where it can prepare its VF-19 during the season, is located in Banbury, having acquired the same facility that was once used by Marussia.
Williams, complete with its conference centre and Heritage Facility, is based in Grove while Toro Rosso may be based in Faenza, Italy, but it has an aerodynamic base and windtunnel in Bicester.
But of all the UK-based teams one can truly call the British Grand Prix a home race, even if it did run under an Indian license for a decade and is now owned by a Canadian.
Racing Point, formerly Force India, Spyker, Midland and Jordan, is based at Silverstone, with the entrance to its factory on the opposite side of the Dadford Road roundabout to Silverstone Circuit’s main gate.