Mercedes announce £70m factory expansion

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In the round-up: Mercedes will expand their Brackley factory with a major, multi-million pound development

In brief

Mercedes announce £70m factory expansion

Mercedes’ main F1 team headquarters in Brackley will undergo a £70m redevelopment and expansion. The team announced it has purchased local land around their existing factory grounds and will expand their design offices, staff facilities, and pedestrianise large parts of the site.

“Our campus was originally built to accommodate 350 people,” said team principal Toto Wolff. “Today, we are at 1,250.

“The development of the campus over the last five years was done at an astonishing pace. Now, what we are planning to do is to expand with multiple new buildings and creating a modern style campus. There will be break-out areas, restaurants, and a state-of-the-art gym and marketing building.”

Kobayashi, Maldonado F1 23 ratings revealed

Kamui Kobayashi and Pastor Maldonado’s driver ratings for F1 23 have been unveiled by EA Sports ahead of the game’s release next month.

Both ex F1 drivers will feature in the game for players to hire in the MyTeam mode. Sauber and Caterham star Kobayashi earns an 85 rating with an impressive 94 racecraft rating, while 2012 Spanish Grand Prix winner Maldonado will be rated 82 with an awareness rating of just 65.

Three-times W Series champion and Indy Nxt driver Jamie Chadwick will also be featured as a MyTeam Icon, however the Williams junior driver’s ratings have not yet been revealed.

Palou “went aggressive” to secure Indy 500 pole

Indianapolis 500 pole winner Alex Palou says he went aggressive with his car’s set-up to secure the front spot on the grid for Sunday’s race.

Palou set a four-lap average speed of 234.217mph (376.936kph) – the fastest pole position run in history.

“We went aggressive,” said Palou. “We were the car that was more trimmed [on Saturday] I would say and also [Sunday].

“It’s what we had to do. It was the way that we could fight for pole, and I’m glad that it worked.”

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Comment of the day

Are we set for the most processional and boring race of the season in Monaco this weekend? @f1frog isn’t so sure…

I don’t agree with the idea that the Monaco GP is always a procession. If we simply look at the last decade, almost every race had something interesting about it:

2022 – the switch from wet to dry tyres was fascinating from a strategic point of view, with Red Bull beating Ferrari, and those who went to inters early, like Gasly, pulled off some amazing overtakes.

2021 – not the most interesting race, but it was good to see different cars able to be competitive, in this case Ferrari.

2019 – Hamilton was wrongly on the medium tyres while those behind were on quicker hards, and an exciting defensive drive followed with Verstappen not quite able to get through.

2018 – Ricciardo managed to hold onto the lead and win despite considerably less power than those behind.

2017 – Not the best race, but still some interesting strategy between the Ferraris at the front.

2016 – Helped by the drying track, it was somewhat similar to 2022, and with a Ricciardo-Hamilton battle for victory.

2015 – Mercedes’ strategic blunder cost Hamilton victory.

2014 – Jules Bianchi’s amazing drive to score points for Marussia.

Monaco is a very special race, the one that requires the most skill to drive on by far and has been as such arguably forever (although there were more contenders in the past), and it is more unique than any other race. There is a reason it has been chosen as the third jewel in the triple crown. It has to remain on the calendar.
F1 frog

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Emmet!

On this day in motorsport

  • On this day in 1998 Alex Zanardi won the ChampCar round on the Gateway oval

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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22 comments on “Mercedes announce £70m factory expansion”

  1. It’s certainly interesting how teams are using their new found spare cash.

    I look forward to the on campus specialty training and niche engineering side hustles to come of the new opportunities.

    Williams was a little ahead of its time with it’s applied engineering arm back in the day.

    1. I really don’t understand how this is possible within the cost cap – have I completely misunderstood it? Are they borrowing from future years’ caps? I wondered the same about Lawrence Stroll’s massive investment in force India and never got a clear answer on how it could be allowed within the cost cap rules.

      1. You are forgetting that the teams played a huge role in the creation of the budget cap rules…..
        When competitors create the rules, they also create all the exclusions and loopholes.

      2. Strolls massive investement where before the costcap was implimented (the start of those building) Also there are things which aren’t in the costcap building a building could be one of those.

      3. Pretty sure capital works (buildings etc) is excluded from cost cap.

    2. This shows again the cost cap is not something real or realistic. Well, its there but it is not real in the sense that it influences (flattens) the competition. It doesn’t. Some teams are still more equal than others.

  2. I still highly doubt Hamilton would join Ferrari, but I don’t entirely rule out this possibility either because stranger things have happened in F1.

    The New Scientist article is interesting. If some drivers really blink at the same circuit parts every lap, that couldn’t be entirely coincidental.
    The series in question is either Super Formula or Super GT because the track locations mentioned are Suzuka, Fuji, & Sugo, which appear together annually only in these two categories.

    I agree with the COTD in principle. Monaco GP in dry-weather conditions could be the most processional in a given season, but not always.
    Even if yes, a dry race can also feature decent excitement or racing like the 2018 & ’19 lead battles show. Overtaking isn’t everything in the end.

    1. @jerejj my bet is the Ferrari leak is from Hamilton’s camp to bump up his contract during the negotiations. It makes no sense to jump ship from Mercedes to Ferrari at the moment as they have at least a few years of restructuring to do, to be serious challengers again imo.

      1. TBH I don’t think it makes sense for a driver to jump from Merc or Ferrari to anywhere except RBR, nor does it make much sense for either of the teams to swap take a driver from the other. Overall, neither team are performing significantly better than the other, and it’s a toss-up whether Merc get their chassis sorted or Ferrari get their organisation restructured first. As to the drivers, all are performing on a similar level. I strongly doubt anyone will be moving between these 2 teams.

        1. it make much sense for either of the teams to swap take a driver from the other.

          That’s coz no one wants Sainz. I don’t see anyone leaving Mercedes for Ferrari either… Lewis has won 6 championships with them.. he trusts them to deliver more than he trusts a team thats failed to deliver in 15 seasons.

    2. Overtaking isn’t everything in the end.

      I completely agree that overtaking isn’t everything. There’s nothing better, for me, than a multi-lap battle for position, with the driver chasing constantly putting pressure on the leader, trying to force them to make a mistake, looking for an opportunity to pass. It’s really exciting because you’re never quite sure if or when a pass will happen.

      However, that’s where Monaco generally falls short for me. Because it’s nearly impossible to overtake on track, even these situations don’t have me on the edge of my seat. Even in 2019, with a close and potentially exciting HAM/VER battle, a pass was such a distant possibility that it wasn’t the even close to the same level of excitement as it would be on any other track. On any other track, HAM running a little wide in a corner, slightly outbraking himself, would have resulted in a pass, whereas in Monaco that isn’t the case.

      With the size of the current cars, Monaco is just too narrow IMHO. Even back around 2008, the hairpin was just about an overtaking opportunity (although a very difficult one to pull off). Now, not a chance. Monaco is just not suitable for modern F1 cars, or put another way modern F1 cars are not suitable for Monaco.

      1. @drmouse I don’t know who’s idea it was in the first place but they have the cards in their hands to say where F1 cars can race nowadays. By making them even larger and heavier they need wider and more open tracks. This way they don’t need Monaco, Spa, Monza anymore. Then they add some street circuits to the calendar so I don’t quite get it. It’s not like Jeddah is much different from Monaco?

      2. @drmouse @qeki
        While car size may be an issue, overtaking has always (& will always be) been equally difficult in Monaco regardless of dimensions, weight, DRS, tyres, powertrains, anything, etc.
        Just nothing to do that could make Monaco more overtaking-friendly, since widening & alternative track configuration options are undoable or limited.

        1. overtaking has always (& will always be) been equally difficult in Monaco

          While I agree that overtaking always has and always will be difficult, I disagree that it has always been equally difficult.
          – Logically, on a section of track of a set width, wider and longer* cars make overtaking more difficult.
          – Empirically, there are fewer overtakes now than with previous, smaller cars. There are places which were known overtaking spots, albeit very difficult ones, which are never used anymore.

          * Longer cars will generally have a larger turning circle, reducing the available space for an overtake.

  3. COTD is excellent, even better in its unabridged form.
    Ferrari have made some monumental errors lately, but surely they are not serious about Hamilton 🥴

    There are more accurate takes on F1stars “taming the brickyard” and politicking elsewhere.

    1. Its hard to imagine, but then again AM went for Vettel as well which rationally didn’t make sense at all.

      1. Vettel to AM was entirely rational if you understand what Lawrence Stroll is trying to achieve.

  4. I’d love to see Hamilton at Ferrari. It’s been rumoured so many times over the years, it’s difficult to take seriously. Clearly it suits both camps (Hamilton and Ferrari) to have these rumours circulating. But Verstappen could well be in an unassailable Red Bull for several years. Hamilton may at least enjoy these years in a new environment and, who knows, maybe all his title successes can make a difference. The big question is Leclerc. Wouldn’t it be a vote of no confidence in him? In a car he likes, I’d expect Hamilton to be typically a bit faster than Leclerc but also a lot more consistent. If Ferrari reckon the same, that’s a tempting combination. Maybe Leclerc himself would prefer Hamilton there to Sainz too. It’s intriguing, even if all very unlikely.

    1. Yes I agree with this. I would like to see it but from Lewis’ point of view, is it worth it. Merc are just as likely to be able to bring their car up to the level of the Red Bull as Ferrari.

      I cannot believe the money alone would be enough. He wants that eighth title.

      1. @phil-f1-21

        He wants that eighth title.

        That 8th isn’t coming unless he lands himself in a Red Bull, since Hamilton clearly knows that, the next best thing is cash and a serious amount of avid supporters buying his merchandise, for years to come.

      2. @phil-f1-21 I think it would be prestige of driving for Ferrari and the prospect of winning a title at another constructor. The question you hit on is whether Merc are just as likely as Ferrari to bring their car up to Red Bull level. They clearly have the resources, I’m not sure how much they’ve learnt about listening to their drivers though.

  5. RandomMallard
    23rd May 2023, 11:10

    As much as I would like to see Hamilton in a Ferrari, I would trust (the recently departed) Mystic Meg before I trusted anything the Daily Mail has to say.

    Tragic news about the Baja Rally attack. Rest In Peace to all those who were killed, and thoughts and prayers to their friends, families and other survivors.

    Re the Indy 500 article, one does wonder if F1 is a little rich to talk about “dubious politicking from the race stewards”…

    Very emotional story from Jennie Gow. Glad to see that she seems to be doing alright.

    Re COTD, I think Monaco does have the potential to be a very good race, and is one where strategy can very much be the deciding factor. And it has the single best qualifying session of the year, so I’d keep it for that reason as well.

    In my opinion, it looks like Williams are going to be announcing a Gulf livery. 2021 likely refers to the McLaren Monaco Gulf livery of that year, and the shot at the end looks like it could represent a showroom, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Gulf get another run out at Monaco.

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