Racing Point Formula 1 chief Otmar Szafnauer has revealed Aston Martin’s new Silverstone factory will be delayed until August 2022. 

Completion of a new facility adjacent to the site of Racing Point’s current Silverstone headquarters was originally scheduled in time for the team to move in during next year’s summer break, but the deadline has now been pushed back by a year. 

Delays to begin work over the winter were put on hold as a direct consequence of the COVID-19 crisis, which forced teams into a mandatory 63-day shutdown period following the last-minute cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix in March.

As a result, work on the new factory has been temporarily put on hold. But speaking on the F1 Nation podcast, Szafnauer confirmed the site which will eventually house the rebranded Aston Martin squad is still going ahead. 

“Mainly, we were on a tight timeframe anyway," he explained. "[It was] a project plan that was quite tight and we had to break ground in the first quarter of this year to be able to finish and move in, in August 2021.

“The first quarter of this year, we were in complete lockdown, nobody was working. Formula 1 teams had our yearly FIA-imposed break because of it [the coronavirus pandemic]. We couldn’t get anyone to progress the factory, so it was put on hold.

“We lost a lot of time because of the virus situation and the government lockdown regulations, so there was no way we’re ever going to now make a completion date of August 2021.

“When we looked at the situation, it only made sense to move it by a whole year to August 2022, because that August break is a perfect time to move factories for us without disrupting the rest of the organisation and what it’s really here to do, which isn’t to move factories, but to go racing at a competitive level.”

In the meantime, Racing Point will continue to operate out of the factory which was originally built for the Jordan team ahead of its F1 debut back in 1991. 

Szafnauer insisted the decision to build a new factory still makes sense, despite the impending introduction of F1’s new lowered cost cap from next year. 

“You’ve got to remember, the factory we have now was built in the late eighties,” he said. “I think it was built for 150 people. 

“We’re bursting at the seams, and because we’re bursting at the seams, we have pockets of engineers working in different locations and it’s much more efficient if we can all be co-located – everybody under one roof.

“It’s worthwhile building a new factory, getting everybody under one roof. Our simulators are in a different location now, our wind tunnel is in a different location, the modelmakers are in a different location – it’s just not as efficient.”

 

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