Racing Point Formula 1 team gets permission for new factory

Adam Cooper
Racing Point gets permission for new factory

The Racing Point Formula 1 team has received planning permission for the state-of-the-art new factory it will build on a green field site alongside its existing Silverstone base.

Work will being shortly on the 15,000sqm facility, which has been designed to specifications overseen by owner Lawrence Stroll.

It is expected to be operation by August 2021. The new base will include parking for 603 cars, addressing restrictions that the team has faced for years, as well as a helipad.

The current building, which dates back to the early days of the team's original Jordan Grand Prix identity, will be retained for logistical operations, truck parking and warehousing.

"I'm really happy that we were able to get planning permission in the timeframe that we wanted," team principal Otmar Szafnauer told Autosport.

"Now it's time to just finalise some details and do the ground breaking in the first quarter of next year.

"What we want try to do if possible is move in during the summer break in 2021.

"If we're growing the team the current place is not big enough. We're going to increase the team size by another 10-20%, and to do that you need space."

In its report on the successful application South Northamptonshire Council acknowledged that the team would not be able to grow in the current facility.

"Racing Point's existing building is not fit for purpose," it noted. "There is a significant lack of storage which affects the operation of the organisation, minimal space for R&D, no room to expand or usefully reconfigure the existing floor space and essentially the building is not appropriate for a F1 racing team."

Racing Point gets permission for new factory

The council also stressed the impact motorsport has on the local economy.

"In addressing need for development, it is important to understand how important F1 is to the area as a whole and that further development and the evolution of industry is essential to the economy of the area and its skilled workforce," the report added.

"In this regard, a large majority of the F1 teams currently have their operating bases within the UK and most within 'Motorsport Valley' across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire.

"These companies also export their products and services abroad. As a result, F1 has a wide impact on the economy, in terms of jobs, skills and innovation.

"A series of local surveys between January and June 2019 confirm that more than 50% of employees live within the Brackley, Milton Keynes, Northampton area."

The report described the new facility as a "'showcase' building, which is designed to mark Racing Point's presence in the F1 world" and revealed more details of the design plans.

"The arrangement is around a central glazed street which acts as the heart of the team space and ensure that all areas are in close proximity, under one roof," it read.

"The street is envisaged as a highly functional space that can accommodate the movement of parts and engines, finished cars that can be used for pitlane practice, as well as informal meetings.

"The key conceptual requirement for the building is to provide the optimised flow for the F1 car manufacturing process, and for the design and development activities that support these operations. The building layout has evolved from careful study of the day-today F1 activities, and the key adjacencies required.

"Aesthetically, the building will have a refined façade with a slender roof profile, the roof line and wall cladding are folded at each end to form a sculpted enclosure around a terrace space to the east and west elevations, further enhancing the visual lightness of the roof.

"Combined with the elegantly proportioned, horizontal format glazing, to frame the long views to the north and east, high quality dark cladding will set the building apart from its immediate neighbours on Silverstone Park, which is predominantly light grey/silver with flashes of red."

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