Owner ofAston Martin, Lawrence Stroll does not hide his ambitions: he wants to win the world title within three to five years, and to do so, he is well aware that the team must evolve. At this stage, it is still based in the infrastructure of Silverstone which already hosted the Jordan Grand Prix when it was founded in 1991. Aston Martin needs more and more temporary offices, so much so that this site is no longer suitable for its operation. .
As a result, Stroll has validated the construction of a 37,000 m² campus on the land it has acquired around the current site. There will be a factory, a wind tunnel, a conference center, an auditorium, a historical department and other offices.
In addition to being completely sustainable, the campus will include 5G infrastructure and the latest technology to ensure that Aston Martin can be equipped with all the new things. With a final estimated cost of between € 175m and € 235m, it is hoped that the team will be able to settle there at the end of 2022 or early 2023.
It will be the first Formula 1 factory built since the McLaren Technology Center opened in 2004. However, if the famous MTC was seen by Ron Dennis as a spectacular symbol of the ambition of the Woking organization , we can consider that it is more aesthetic than functional. As incredible as it sounds, the sterile vibe there is often mentioned, and despite its immense size, it hasn’t always adapted quickly enough to the needs of the F1 and automotive worlds, constantly evolving.
Stroll’s vision for the Aston Martin campus is the opposite: a place that is not designed to look good but to deliver precisely what the team needs – better communication, accelerated processes for business development. car, and infrastructure large enough for the 1,000 employees Stroll hopes to have within a few years.
“It’s the reverse of what Ron Dennis did with [l’architecte] Norman Foster, with the McLaren Technology Center “, says the Canadian. “It’s a business, factories, and campus that fit in with our DNA, our culture and our history. The purpose they are built for is to be able to be efficient and streamlined. And, again, that everyone be side by side under the same roof. “
“This taking into account the new Financial Regulations and the direction we see this sport taking in the future. We can build more workshops if we want to, we can shrink as well – not by reducing the size of the building but by bringing people together. This building will truly represent our image, our culture and our DNA. “
According to Stroll, without this new plant, Aston Martin would struggle to progress in the Formula 1 hierarchy: “With the current factory, it would have been really difficult. We are adding these temporary offices, these small buildings that are put on the ground to accommodate our ever-growing staff. Communication is not the best that can be found. or because everyone is scattered in various parts of the factory. Improving communication and developing research in the field of design was a necessity. We could not continue to grow to reach the number of employees that I want with the existing site. Impossible. “
Beyond the clear benefits Stroll sees for Aston Martin staff with the new campus, it shows how much the businessman is involved in his F1 project. The Silverstone structure has been sold and resold several times since Eddie Jordan parted ways with it, throughout the Midland, Spyker and Force India eras, but Stroll intends to stay.
“It’s a long-term investment”, he says. “Without wanting to offend my predecessors, none of them have my history or my track record with the successes I have had. Clearly, I’m passionate. It’s a great business opportunity. I see Formula 1 and each team will gain a lot of value in the years to come. “
“It’s not at all different from properties in other sports, if you look at an American football team, for example. Ten years ago, an NFL team was worth a billion dollars, but today ‘ You can’t buy a franchise for less than four or five billion dollars. So it’s a long-term project. “
“This is something that I plan to be involved in, because I remain a young man, I think I will be there for at least many, many years.”, adds the one who celebrated his 62 years in 2021. “We don’t make that kind of investment and that plan to pull out in any way.”
And while the Liberty era of F1 is characterized by the goal of leveling the hierarchy when it comes to finance and performance, Stroll is convinced that it will not be possible to reach the front of the grid without investing.
“If you want to triumph in F1, you have to put your hand in the wallet. Money always plays a crucial role and will continue to do so. We all know the budget cap and are all very realistic about what is not. not included in this one. For us, this campus is long overdue. COVID cost us two years, otherwise we would have already built it or be close to it. But to play for victory – and that is for that’s what I’m here – this tool is 100% necessary. “
“What you need to win is good leadership and vision, which I think I bring. You need the finances to be able to afford it, you need the best people in the industry, and you need give them the best tools and processes. We already have a lot of great people, but that will provide the tools and processes to recruit the ones we don’t have. Plus, I can give them my advice, as well as advice and the leadership of the management team, in order to make all our dreams come true. “