Mercedes HQ Campus

Arnab Bose

EXPLAINED: Mercedes Controversial HQ Expansion Plan Approved Amid Protest

Mercedes had been through a lot of lows this past year. They have not won a single race last season. That’s how bad the W14 car was. Clearly, the Brackley team could not figure out a way to get two wins out of the zero sidepod concept. In 2022, the two drivers – George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, managed a one-two finish in the Brazilian Grand Prix. But that was it for the German outfit.

They have not won any more races in the past two years. Moreover, the Brackley team is making changes, and some changes are part of their factory. It seems they are planning to expand their campus. Moreover, the council has recently approved their plan. However, there were plenty of protests regarding this approval. 

   

Council Approved HQ Expansion Plan Of Mercedes Despite Controversies

Toto Wolff Mercedes
Toto Wolff Mercedes Source: The Sports Rush

On Wednesday, West Northamptonshire Council approved the Mercedes site’s expansion at a meeting. Several small firms occupy a cul-de-sac at St. James Road. The Brackley-based team wants to move its access point of the principal staff from Lauda Drive to St. James Road. As per the Council, this relocation would lead to significant economic developments for the place. But the local companies are wary of the increase in tenfold as the traffic would inundate the road. The Local Democracy Reporting Service pointed out that Mercedes plans to expand their operations within the following five years. As a result, the workforce can increase from 1,400 people to 1,900 people in a matter of half a decade. As per the estimations of the council officers the cars can increase from 57 to 528 turning into St. James Road.

At the new entrance, there would be a fitting of a security gatehouse. Simon Wheeler expressed his disappointment over Mercedes as they did not care to discuss their proposals. The managing director of Canonbury Products spoke as an objector at the meeting. His company located on the same road. Wheeler feels the authorities in the meeting completely sidelined his and other businesses along the St. James Road in the planning process. They don’t believe Mercedes provided them with sufficient information regarding the use of the road. But the Brackley team did say that they want to provide a campus for the employees with a more attractive landscape. Wheeler did acknowledge that fact. 

Why The Brackley Team Took So Long To Throw Away The Old Concept?

Toto Wolff Mercedes
Toto Wolff Mercedes Source: PlanetF1

First of all, there are a lot of questions regarding why the Silver Arrows repeated the same concept in 2023. Perhaps the Brazilian Grand Prix victory in 2022 backfired. They wanted to give that concept one more try. But soon did they realize that it was no good. However, it was too late to change the car’s setup in the middle of the year. Hence, they could only introduce certain upgrades. But that did not help the Mercedes team to get a win.

The best race for the Brackley team came in the Spanish GP when their two drivers had podium finishes. Lewis Hamilton finished at P2, and George Russell right behind him. However, the team had to find satisfaction with that only double podium last season. Hence, the team has been working really hard to make significant changes. First of all, sources suggest Mercedes plan to throw away the terrible zero sidepod concept. Finally, it seems like they are moving in the right direction.