New HQ an advantage for Aston over biggest teams – Stroll

Lawrence Stroll believes Aston Martin’s new $200 million factory and wind tunnel will provide his team with an advantage over the biggest teams in Formula 1 since it is designed specifically for the current era.

A number of big teams such as Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari are having to downsize as a result of the cost cap regulations that have been introduced this season, designed to curb spending and level the playing field from a sporting perspective. With Aston Martin having been under the cost cap, Stroll’s ownership is resulting in major investment and ground was broken on the main building of its new factory facility last week, one that has been designed with the cost cap in mind.

“I completely agree with (it being an advantage), it has been my thinking,” Stroll said. “On the downside, we’re a few years behind, because of COVID, to build this building. It was the intent to have this building in place today.

“But I truly do believe we’re in a better state than the very large teams that have to downsize, which is demotivational, you don’t know who’s the next one about to lose their job, etc., etc., where we’re looking to add hundreds of people to our headcount. So yes, I think we’re in a sweet spot.”

Stroll confirmed the factory will be fully sustainable and the new development will also include a wind tunnel, as well as a “state of the art wellness center, cafeteria and simulator” alongside a heritage section. The wind tunnel commitment comes with F1 considering banning them in future, but Stroll says there is still value in building Aston Martin’s own.

“It’s a project that will take the next two years. Completion on the first phase will be 18 months, completion on the last phase will be 36 months. First phase is the largest building, where we will move the design office. The second building will be built simultaneously, that is the wind tunnel, which is about another 100,000 square feet.

“When we exit the current building we are in, that will be replaced with a new building, probably in the vicinity of 75,000 square feet. So roughly about 350-400,000 square feet is the total campus. My expected cost and budget is approximately $150-$200 million. And for timing, we plan within two years to be moving into the new building and having the new wind tunnel in operation.

“Regarding wind tunnels, no one knows what the future will be with wind tunnels past 2030 at this point, but we believe it is a worthy investment. We will have seven or eight years to be able to use it before any decision is made. I personally don’t think wind tunnels will disappear, I don’t think it will be safe for F1 to all be designed by only CFD. I think rational minds will come to that. But if it is seven years, at least we will have seven years.”