Mercedes’ £30m Brackley factory expansion approved by council

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In the round-up: Mercedes’ plans to expand their Brackley factory have been approved by the local council

In brief

Mercedes’ Brackley factory expansion approved

Plans to significantly expand Mercedes’ Brackley factory have been officially approved by West Northamptonshire Council.

The plans will see Mercedes expand from around 1,400 on-site staff to 1,900 with new facilities and emphasis on sustainability. Mercedes’ efforts to expand their factory had faced opposition from some local businesses, but the council’s Strategic Planning Committee formally approved the expansion this week.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has previously said the expansion plans were “being done for our people.”

“Here, form follows function – not the other way round,” he continued. “It’s all being done to create a great place to work and spend time. We want it to become its own little village, with all the amenities and benefits that you would expect from a Silicon Valley style environment.”

Lindblad, Barnard claim FRMEC wins

Red Bull junior Arvid Lindblad won the second race of the Formula Regional Middle Eastern Championship at the Yas Marina circuit, while Martin Stenshorne lost victory in the final race following a post-race penalty.

Lindblad held off Zachary David in the first of two Sunday races to win by less than a second, with Stenshorne coming home in third. In the final race, Stenshorne passed race one winner Taylor Barnard at the tight right hander before the W hotel, but appeared to do so outside of track limits. After a post-race investigation, Stenshorne was handed a five-second time penalty for his pass for the lead, handing the victory to Barnard and dropping Stenshorne to second, still ahead of McLaren junior Ugo Ugochukwu.

Barnard leads the championship after the first weekend of racing, with a second round at Yas Marina taking place next weekend with three further races.

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This weekend’s Caption Competition winner is Tristan!:

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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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14 comments on “Mercedes’ £30m Brackley factory expansion approved by council”

  1. The Formula Regional Middle East championship is a very good way to start the racing year. It can give a good preview as to who may be the drivers to look out for in FIA F3 and FRECA while providing close racing. I think it’s a shame the result was decided by a penalty in the final race. Taylor Barnard and Martinius Stenshorne are both looking very strong, it’s a shame neither are in one of the better teams like Prema in F3. I applaud this website for trying to expose their readers to these exciting new series (including UAE F4).

  2. Unfortunately, that third-place kid never managed to reach F1, but nevertheless, a cute image from 2007 I’ve seen a few times before.

    1. That’s from 2007? I sometimes forget how young some of these drivers still are!

      Anyway, Honda is working on an hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft… why? That seems like a rather pointless thing to focus on. The only such aircraft that are made in serious numbers are military craft, and I don’t think Japan has the kind of ships such planes are traditionally deployed on.

      1. The eVOTL seems intended for business travel by executives from one city to the next. I guess for people who don’t want to use the Shinkansen. The VTOL capability would allow landings in more places.

        It looks like a big drone.

      2. Ever heard of HondaJet? Aircraft manufacture isn’t new to Honda.
        Honda is considered a high-end brand (especially in Japan) often favoured by the wealthy and corporate types.

        1. Yes, and they make just a few dozen planes each year. This concept for an eVTOL can apparently fly just 100km on its batteries, needs a big fossil fuel engine to fly further, and can carry only six people, or less than one per rotor strapped to it. I’m sure it looks fun, but the point of it remains a bit of a mystery.

          1. I’m sure it looks fun, but the point of it remains a bit of a mystery.

            The main point, from Honda’s perspective, is the R&D that goes into it.
            And just like the HondaJet program – if it ultimately results in a demanded marketable product, then that’s a great bonus.

            Consider also their ASIMO project. There was never any intention of Honda producing a humanoid robot for sale to the public – but knowledge and skills they gained in taking that decades-long development path themselves cannot be obtained any other way.

            Honda’s approach to F1 makes a lot more sense with this background – they participate when they want to learn something and leave when they’ve achieved that. It’s not all about results-on-track or profitability with their R&D programs – it’s about the stuff you can’t buy: experience.

      3. Motorised carriages, that seems like a rather pointless thing to focus on. Said the horse and carriage driver of the 1800s. The only such engines are used in trains and who would need to transport such loads other than on tracks.

        1. I’m all for optimism, but this concept is just that. They took a small aircraft, shortened the wings, put a big contraption with eight rotors on top of it, hooked them up to an electric motor, and the thing can’t fly more than 100km off its batteries.

          Could it have some niche use? Sure, but if helicopters with two rotors are expensive to maintain and service, imagine this ten rotor craft.

      4. Isn’t what Wolff’s describing the exact opposite of form following function? Form following function would be the just what’s needed to optimally support purely their function; developing an F1 car…

        Silicon Valley campus’ are far from form following function (which would be tech incubators). They’re grandiose extravagant overexpenditures because they’re printing more money than they have to put to good use.

        I’m sure it’ll be a good investment though… But we can’t say that right, I’m just spending money to make more money, that would be wrong… Right?

        1. Meant to be a top level comment… Also, yay! You know the caption contests struggling when my joke takes the honour haha.

  3. Brackley Council were swayed by the new reduced side pods and cantilevered front wing specially designed for Lewis.

  4. Can someone explain why Williams are unable to invest in upgrading their premises due to the budget cap, but Merc can spare £30m from their budget for this? Genuine question.

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