“We’re hiring brilliant new senior engineering and technical talent all the time, and the result will be a technical engineering depth in the company equal to, if not better than, any F1 team. We announce almost weekly the hiring of new senior technical and engineering talent.”
The Silverstone-based team appears to be making a habit of poaching staff from Red Bull. Designer Andrew Alessi is the latest to defect from Milton Keynes and new technical director Dan Fallows is also ex-Red Bull, while engineering director Luca Furbatto has joined from Alfa Romeo.
“We currently have approximately 500 employees. When I took over Force India [in 2018, renaming the team Racing Point], we had around 400. It’s not just quantity, it’s quality. In the near term, we plan to push that number to approximately 800.”
Expansion in space
“To find a home for these 800 people, we’ve recently gone into the ground at Silverstone for our new factory that will be open in about 20 months. It will be over 200,000sq ft, built to purpose. In addition, in order to be able to fight consistently for world championships, we also need our own wind tunnel – another great expense, a cost of well over £150 million, and we’ve already started on the process.”
Earlier this year, Stroll said that Aston Martin didn’t need its own wind tunnel, in the face of restrictions on usage and its agreement to share Mercedes’ tunnel in nearby Brackley. Why the U-turn?
“Andy [Green, chief technical officer] changed his mind! He came back to me and said: ‘Look, I realise there’s upside potential on the times and availability we currently have using Mercedes’ tunnel. But if you really want to be world champion, it’s a tool we’re going to need.’ It cost a bit of money, that change of mind. I was happy with his first concept.”