Spare a thought for the modern office: if you're not already hot-desking, workspace-sharing, multi-screening, Teams-calling or stress-commuting, then you're probably WFH (working from home) – and facing subtle pressure to, yes… head back to the office.
For all of us at Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team, the call of the office was a little more straightforward after spending the past 31 years working in a small factory that we had outgrown and, latterly, scattered across different Portakabins®, which makes our current third place standing in the 2023 F1® Constructors' World Championship all the more impressive ahead of moving into its new home.
Work on our £200 million, 37,000m2 (400,000sqft) headquarters, located just across the road from the legendary Silverstone Circuit, began in August 2021. It is the sport's first new F1 team base for almost two decades and our AMR Technology Campus was officially opened ahead of this week's British Grand Prix – and in a pretty unique way.
We wanted to open our new home with a big statement – and what was more impactful than using a modern Formula One car? The seed was sown, and soon enough, a plan was devised to drive one of the team's Mercedes-powered V6, 1000bhp Grand Prix cars along the campus ‘street' – the wide boulevard that runs the length of the entire building – with Lance behind the wheel.
To make it extra-special, Executive Chairman Lawrence Stroll invited every member of the team to join the occasion – which led to 700 people lining the balconies and adjacent workspaces to catch a glimpse of the car in action.
Lance takes to The Street
Watch as Lance Stroll takes a tour around the all-new Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team Technology Campus.
"It was unbelievable to drive our Formula One car through the new factory," said Lance afterwards. "At first, it felt pretty sketchy – slick tyres and concrete floors don't really mix – but as soon as I got going I felt like I could give it more speed. Getting to see everyone's faces enjoying watching was really cool for me, especially as most of the amazing people who work here don't often get the see the car run.
"It was the only proper way to break in the new factory!"
Given the restricted nature of the building, Lance never got the car out of first gear – but still managed to hit 55.5km/h (34.5mph). When the car drove out of the building and along the perimeter road, it was recorded at 82km/h (51mph).
"At first, we weren't sure if it would be possible to run the car along the street," added Team Principal Mike Krack. "But the engineers did their sums and said we could do it safely. Until I actually saw Lance climb into the car, I didn't really believe it – but then he lit it up, burnt some rubber and put a smile on the face of every single team member. It was the perfect way to open our new Technology Campus and a great way to send everyone into the British Grand Prix weekend feeling super-positive ahead of our home race."
Welcome. Home. AMF1 Team Technology Campus opens ahead of the British Grand PrixRead Now
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