Why is Mercedes F1 based in the UK?

Published 03/01/2021, 6:23 AM EST
MONTMELO, SPAIN – Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W10 during day three of F1 Winter Testing at Circuit de Catalunya in Montmelo, Spain. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)


Mercedes F1 are the fourth most successful team in the history of the sport. The team that hails from Germany has achieved a dominion over the F1 grid ever since the V6-hybrid era began. They have won seven consecutive constructors’ titles and boast the best driver and the best car on the grid. It’s no surprise that the team strives to achieve no less than perfection in everything that they do. But one may wonder, for a team that prides itself on its nation that indeed has a rich history in automobiles, why do they have their factory and headquarters in the UK?

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The Silver Arrows are one of the seven teams to be based in the United Kingdom. They have their headquarters in Brackley, which is 70 miles north of London. Let’s take a look at the reasons behind the German team being based in the UK.

Two main reasons behind Mercedes F1 having set up their factory in Brackley, UK

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If you want to know why Mercedes. like most other teams, is based in the UK, the answer to that might actually shock you. The reasons for doing so were far from the aspect of motor racing.

In fact, oddly enough, the end of World War 2 had a massive role to play. The CEO of Motorsport Industry Association, Chris Aylett explains it best. He said, “It was a combination of factors.

“When World War II ended, there were many aerospace engineers [based in the area] who were used to building fast, lightweight airplanes to fight the enemy but no avenue for them to use their skills.

“There were also lots of flat airfields [used during the war], such as Silverstone, and not many cars left so the engineers needed to be inventive and started building lightweight cars to race on the airfields which became race tracks.”

The expertise available, along with the combination of proximity to the race tracks was why the UK became a hub for F1 teams. However, that being said, Mercedes didn’t open up a whole new factory in Brackely. They simply inherited it from their predecessor.

Brawn GP the other reason behind the Silver Arrows’ presence in the UK

We move along to the more specific question concerning Mercedes. The reason that they are based in Brackley is fairly straightforward. The team was created in 2010 when the company brought Brawn GP.

Brawn GP had their headquarters in Brackley. As a result, when Mercedes took over operations and rebranded their team, they opted to stick with the base they got from Brawn.

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AUSTIN, TX. Lewis Hamilton of  Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team. His Mercedes WO9 is pushed onto the grid before the United States Formula One Grand Prix. Circuit of The Americas in Austin, United States. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

Why did they stick with that? They did so because of the costs. Almost every single F1 team that came to life in a later era took over the base of a former team that wasn’t competing anymore. The costs required to build an entirely new facility with the state-of-the-art technology is simply massive.

And that’s why a team with German roots finds itself based in the UK, slaying the competition since 2014.

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Ronan Carvalho

1015 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

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