Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Headquarters Northampton

Ridge was originally appointed in 1996 by British American Racing to design a new HQ building for its then new Formula 1 team and have worked on the site ever since.

The original £50 million facility included offices, Drawing Office, R&D, workshops / Machining / Tooling, Composites, 40% wind tunnel, clean rooms, race bays, gym and catering. Since then, expansion has provided:

  • Complete Machine shop refurbishment and extension to provide light and bright facilities, and trenched service route with high level cranage, costing £4 million.
  • Foundation and groundworks for new waste compound, and data centre, costing c. £300,000.
  • Upgrade of site HV infrastructure to provide power provision for future site improvements.
  • Construction of rear extension to main site facility to allow the installation of five new autoclaves, costing £1 million (works included design and construction within a five-month period to meet tight procurement schedule for Autoclave installation).
  • Management of masterplan that sees multi-phased development of main site manufacturing facilities over 5 phases and 3 years.
  • R&D extension.
  • Drawing Office extension to accommodation 150 designers, costing £750,000 (scheme necessitated rerouting the main mechanical and electrical supplies to plant whilst continuing to serve the factory).
  • New engine and transmission Test Cell, costing £3 million (challenges included acoustic restrictions, the reduction of vibration transfer to an absolute minimum, and the need for deep excavations close to a water course with piled foundations within an occupied building).
  • New Brake DynoTest Cell; a new £1 million facility within an existing building, where the acoustic separation and co-ordination with Austrian technology were the biggest challenges
  • Full-scale Wind Tunnel with Design and Model Shop, costing £32 million (scheme comprised bespoke rolling road shipped from USA, fan designed in Canada and made in Czech Republic, steel tunnel manufactured in north of England).
  • New Model Shop (Drawing Office, pattern and mould making departments, Autoclave and car bays).
  • Experience Centre, costing £350,000 (an exhibition space and associated 60-seat auditorium).
  • Logistics stores.
  • Site landscaping, including balancing pond.


  • 7

    Formula One World Drivers Champions

  • 25,000sqm

  • 14


Main works sees the development of the site’s manufacturing facilities involving 5 phases over 3 years, whilst working around the operation of a 24 hour facility for the world’s premier F1 team.

Ridge understands procurement of specialist plant with lengthy lead times and from various suppliers worldwide. Consequently Ridge used its experience in the field and consistently promoted a “team approach”, co-ordinating and integrating the specialist contractors and workers who were not contractually linked to work in tandem with each other.

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