Visiting Brackley: Inside Mercedes-AMG F1 Headquarters
Location: Brackley, Northamptonshire
Well, what a few weeks it’s been! As a lot of you know, I’m doing all I can to bring you a variety of content on The Formula 1 Girl and here, we have something rather special.
I was kindly invited to the Mercedes-AMG F1 Headquarters in Brackley where I was given a factory tour – taken through all the different departments, seeing how the team works and also managed to get a glimpse of what happens during the race weekends.
If you know me, you’ll know that I love things like this – as much as I love the racing side of Formula 1, there’s something so special about seeing what goes on behind-the-scenes, within a team, as it’s something that many people don’t think about it.
VISITING BRACKLEY: INSIDE MERCEDES-AMG F1 HQ
As soon as you arrive, you’re greeted by the lovely reception team who instantly make you feel at ease. As you can see in the photo, on one side, you have Lewis Hamilton’s 2018 winning car (more details on that further below)….
On the other side (behind me in the photo), there’s a huge wall displaying just some of the team trophies. It’s actually amazing to see them in person – some are a lot larger than what I had imagined.
RACE SUPPORT: INSIDE MERCEDES-AMG F1 HQ
I wasn’t allowed to take too many photos (confidential) when I was taken around the factory but after a quick coffee stop (it was a good coffee) I was shown around different departments, one of which was race support.
On my visit, it was during a race weekend and I got to see the team at work – it’s amazing to see how every single person has a valuable role within the team, providing their input to the race weekend.
Race Support – the only way I can describe it is as the mission control centre! Seriously, it was incredible to see! Screens covering an entire wall to show the team what’s happening at every moment – live timings (with only a split second delay), weather data / radars, info and even interviews from drivers too.
The team alternates between who stays at Brackley and who goes out to the races – giving everyone a chance to build on their expertise and support.
(There was also a separate row of team members. Most being students – Mercedes-AMG helps people to develop the skills and be a part of a team.)
SEEING THE 2019 CAR: INSIDE MERCEDES-AMG F1 HQ
Following race support, I was then taken to more departments and actually got to see a model of the 2019 car too!
Let me tell you one thing about this years car – it’s massive! It’s a longer and much wider compared to last years model.
The model car was half covered with the livery and half open – allowing you to see all of the intricate detail and work. Seeing things like this really makes you appreciate all of the hard work which goes on behind the scenes.
It’s not just about the drivers – it’s about the hard work, dedication and development from the teams too and Mercedes-AMG F1 have set the bar high. Always pushing themselves to do better.
MACHINE SHOP: INSIDE MERCEDES-AMG F1 HQ
Once you leave the ‘tech’ side of things, you come across the more hands-on part of the team.
At the ‘Machine Shop’ I looked at the difference in weight for DENSAMET and ALUMINIUM. Despite being the same size, Densamet weighed much, much more then Aluminium.
Densamet – 969 Grams
Aluminium – 148 Grams
With machining centres, on this floor – you come across everything that’s needed to build and develop the car. It’s here where components and parts are made, where the paint-shop is and where parts of the car are built and put together.
If there’s an issue with the car – parts are also sent back here to analyse and go through. Finding out what the problem was.
Behind glass window-walls, you see members of the team working on things in their protective gear (due to some of the equipment being used – health & safety) and it’s here when you really realise how much goes on behind the scenes.
It’s a true factory and despite there being around 900 members of staff, there’s a connection between everyone. Everyone is doing all they can to make sure the car will perform and be consistent throughout the year.
You feel the connect within the team – they pick each other up, the support each other and the all keep going.
TROPHY WALL: INSIDE MERCEDES-AMG F1 HQ
I mean, just take a look at the trophy wall, it’s beautiful! Once I finished the factory tour, I went back to the reception area and here’s where I took a few more photos…
I briefly mentioned this at the start of the post – this is Lewis Hamilton’s 2018 winning car. The car he raced in at the Abu Dhabi GP – complete with tape marks too.
If you visit the factory, take a look around the car and you’ll notice that the team have left the car as it arrived from the race track – marks and all.
Take a look at more photos from the factory tour below!
That’s not all – there’s more! You can take a look at my VLOG below to see my time at the Mercedes AMG F1 Factory!
Thank you to Mercedes AMG F1 for inviting me to the factory – I had an amazing time.