Mercedes F1 team plans massive transformation of UK headquarters

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton during third practice ahead of the Netherlands Grand Prix at Circuit Zandvoort in Zandvoort, Netherlands. Picture date: Saturday August 26, 2023.
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton during third practice ahead of the Netherlands Grand Prix in August 2023. Credit: PA

Mercedes F1 will be expanding its UK headquarters as it plans to employ hundreds more people in the next few years.

The Formula One team, based in Brackley, Northamptonshire, said it plans to expand operations over the next five years and increase its workforce from 1,400 to 1,900 people.

A massive transformation at its campus will include an extension to its main building, a new three-storey marketing building, a new multi-storey car park, and an additional entrance.

Mercedes-AMG F1 development manager Ian Smith said its plans for a "world-class campus" would ensure it attracts the "highest calibre of staff" and "attract and retain sponsors".

He added that the site current site "does not meet the future ambitions of the company moving forward".

Mercedes-AMG finished the 2023 season in second place, more than 400 points behind Redbull, and just three behind Ferrari.

Lewis Hamilton was third in the driver standings, and George Russell eighth.

Boss Toto Wolff has conceded Mercedes will have to scale Mount Everest to topple Max Verstappen’s Red Bull team next season.

And he said he would like to see "many more Mercedes stars" in the next few decades.

What the modernised Mercedes F1 campus will look like Credit: Mercedes AMG F1

West Northamptonshire Council, which approved Mercedes F1's plans, said the expansion would bring "significant economic development benefits" to the town.

But the site's new main entrance will mean hundreds of Mercedes staff driving through a nearby industrial cul-de-sac - and this has angered business owners on St James Road.

The council has estimated the number of cars turning into the road during peak morning hours will increase nearly 10-fold from 57 to 528. In the evenings the number will rise from 50 to 297.

Simon Wheeler, of specialist foot health supplier Canonbury Products Ltd, said business owners felt "completely sidelined" as Mercedes had not discussed proposals with them.

He said: “We do not believe there has been sufficient information provided by Mercedes to justify the use of St James Road, other than to provide a more attractive landscape campus for their employees.

Designs of the space near the existing Mercedes F1 entrance off Lauda Drive. Credit: Mercedes-AMG F1

“The sheer volume of Mercedes traffic will inevitably cause queuing and disruption. In our experience, we are likely to lose valuable employees if this occurs.”

Mr Smith, from Mercedes, said the company had looked at different access routes, but decided that splitting access between the previous entrance at Lauda Drive and using St James Rd in peak hours was the “best operation”.

Mercedes said the current entrance on Lauda Drive will be modernised and the surrounding area will be landscaped to create a "parkland campus" feel.

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