Szafnauer explains Aston Martin factory delay

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Racing Point’s team principal Otmar Szafnauer has further explained why the team’s move to a new factory has been delayed.

The outfit soon to be known as Aston Martin were originally scheduled to move into a new facility in August 2021. However, last week it was revealed that those plans have been pushed back by a year.

Speaking to Formula 1’s official website, Szafnauer has now gone into more depth on why the decision was taken to put the move on hold.

“Mainly, we were on a tight timeframe anyway. [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,” he said.

 “Well, 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.”

With the hiatus causing many teams to struggle financially, and anew budget coming into effect soon, many wonder whether splashing out on a new facility is a wise decision. Szafnauer, however, believes that the move is necessary and will be worthwhile, particularly with the Aston Martin rebrand on the horizon.

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

“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.”

“We’re going to become Aston Martin soon, we’ve got the land, and it would be nice to have an Aston Martin Formula 1 Team campus. Not just us, but some of the road car designers and engineers as well on campus with us.”

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