“Human, Progress, Ultra-Luxury”: these, according to Chief Marketing Officer Rob Bloom, are the three pillars of the Aston Martin F1 brand. “When you walk into the building today you should feel a sense of an exclusive experience. It should feel like Aston Martin”. 

Perhaps added to this list should be a sense of wonder, even awe, for that is the overwhelming feeling when entering Aston Martin F1’s ultra-modern new facility. As we pulled up to the factory, it was incredible how close we were to the actual Silverstone track – only a car park and the back of a grandstand separated us from putting in a flying lap in the Seat Ibiza we were in.

Only opened this year (2023), the building is the very embodiment of state-of-the-art motorsport. Though an unimpressive silver-grey block from behind, as soon as we came to the front of the building, we were greeted by the huge, winged Aston Martin logo looming imposingly above the entrance. This is a sign of things to come: the moment you step through the door you are similarly overawed by a soaring atrium of glass and marble, ringed by trophy cabinets of this season’s successes, and TV screens displaying rolling montages of podium footage. It is all capped off by the centrepiece of a full-scale F1 car, positioned so walking around it to take in its full beauty is unavoidable. 

You can’t help but notice the sheer wealth on display, for this could easily be the lobby of a high-end hotel: the entrance is designed to convey the scale of Aston Martin’s resources, the richness of their motorsport heritage (they don’t gloss over their previous incarnations of Racing Point and Force India, displaying these trophies too), their newfound success, and the luxury that is so key to their branding.

If the luxury pillar of their brand was conveyed by their lobby, once we were taken into the workshop floor of the factory it is the “progress” element that comes to the fore. Arranged around a central corridor, there are glass-fronted laboratories and workshops within which engineers and mechanics were working on the 2024 car. If either of us had any knowledge of science, we would now probably have very valuable information on our hands. Alas for Aston Martin’s competitors, however, our GCSE science knowledge could only comprehend what we saw as “machines and stuff”.

Being toured around the lab part of the factory felt very much like being taken around Wonka’s chocolate factory, with fantastical machines producing magical parts in rooms that were carefully sealed behind a cordon of glass; parts which were now merely inscrutable shapes of carbon fibre and colourful outlines on computer screens, but which were soon to be made into the miraculous end product that is only exposed to the public eye on TV every other weekend. Perhaps this glass barrier was for our own good – one such area was labelled “Non-destructive Testing”, which rather implies the existence of “Destructive Testing”… I’m not sure a visit there would have ended particularly well for us.

As we rounded a corner in the factory, to even our guide’s surprise, we were confronted by two cars simply parked in the corridor (to what purpose we don’t know) – Lance Stroll’s Racing Point car, and Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin, symbolising the historical evolution of the Aston Martin F1 team and its past iterations. Seeing these cars up close was a true privilege – having only ever seen World Champions such as Vettel on the screen, his days at Aston Martin were suddenly made real before our eyes even after his retirement.

What stood out was how modern everything was. Unsurprisingly, since the facility is mere months old, every inch of glass was polished, every panel of wood pristine, the floors uncluttered, everything was aligned perfectly – even in the rooms filled with noisy autoclaves, the workshops where energetic assembling of parts was taking place, a sense of order prevailed. There was a sense of scientific precision everywhere that extended even to aesthetics.

Next up was the Operations Room, and we were told to keep quiet since, fortunately for us, members of the race team were actively at work monitoring the post-season testing. Mounted on the wall were screen upon screen, some filled with data, some with a virtual map tracking the drives of Lance Stroll and Felipe Drugovich, and some with the Sky Sports coverage of Miami (again, purpose unknown) playing. Three rows of desks, each with 12 seats, faced the wall of screens, with team members, headsets donned, whispering to each other at intervals. Each seat had two monitors, each monitor was divided into four windows, displaying a staggering and incomprehensible array of data and information arranged into beautifully geometric graphs and charts. 

It felt so strongly like we’d walked into NASA’s operational headquarters during a moon landing, such was the extent of the high-tech infrastructure and the energetic yet furiously calm activity going on. 

The NASA-like atmosphere was temporarily lessened, however, because as soon as we walked into the room, they lost connection on one of the screens, saying, “Oh no, it’s just gone”. We probably shouldn’t be allowed into important places.

Next up on the tour was the upper floor of the facility, which is more or less one huge, open-plan office, in which all the engineers, who make up most of the 700 people working there, had their desks. This arrangement (not dividing the engineers into their separate departments) was to encourage free collaboration across sections and teams.

Indeed, we saw evidence of this taking place: as we were let loose to roam around the office, while a lot of the engineers were sat at their desks, several designing parts on their computers (dual-monitor, of course, and only the best), many were grouped in clusters engaging in discussion. There was also an F1 car parked in the middle of this room, though this one did have an explanation: Team Principal Mike Krack wanted everyone to be able to see what they were working on.

As we were being taken around the factory, our guide very casually dropped that Netflix were in the facility, filming an interview with Lawrence Stroll for Drive to Survive. We were allowed to peek into his office where the interview was being filmed – there were cameras being set up as well as the biggest light to ever exist (probably). As if that wasn’t cool enough, as we were finishing up our interview with Rob Bloom, Lawrence Stroll himself walked past the glass door of the room and looked inside at us, possibly because we were holding up a meeting of his own. After we had picked our jaws up off the floor, we were able to dazedly return to the lobby.

The three pillars of Aston Martin’s branding that Rob told us about in this interview were visible throughout the whole building – it did indeed feel like Aston Martin embodied. It could not be more luxurious or sleek; it could not be more cutting-edge or modern. 

Speaking further with Rob, we learnt more about the Aston Martin team and their ambitions and priorities.

Interview with Rob Bloom, Chief Marketing Officer at Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1.

We asked Rob about how important the ‘Britishness’ of the brand was to Aston Martin. He explained that their roots could be found in their heritage, it being a 110-year-old iconic British brand. Their Britishness is a brand trope, but the brand is still international. Aston Martin recruits globally, whether that be their partners or their fans. Their Britishness could be an identifying feature of the brand without overwhelming their international nature.

In the same vein of branding, we asked how a team like Aston Martin have managed their multiple rebrands in recent years, moving from Force India, to Racing Point, and then to Aston Martin in 2021. Rob replied that brands in Formula 1 tend to go through different stages and iterations, citing McLaren as an example – moving from red and white, to silver, to the famous papaya. In a sport like F1, there is a general acceptance that teams will rebrand as they move through their journey. From a marketing perspective, rebranding on a regular basis is not easy, however Aston Martin has inherited 110 years of brand equity.

We asked Rob how important fan engagement was for Aston Martin. He told us it was “massive. Absolutely massive.” Sometimes, as a sports fan, it can be a one-way relationship, so Aston Martin wanted to see what happened “when a sport loves you back.” Due to social media, the expectation of fans has changed a lot – it switched from a broadcast experience to an engagement experience, where now there is the opportunity to build a relationship directly with an athlete or a team. Rob explained the intentions of the I/AM program, saying that they wanted to invite fans to celebrate and join the journey of the team, juxtaposing the individual fan, ‘I’, with Aston Martin, ‘AM’. He also explained their partnership with TikTok, saying it was a great platform that celebrates creators – Aston Martin are able to involve creators in co-creating the story of the team with them.

On the topic of TikTok, we asked Rob about the social media presence of the team, most notably with Fernando Alonso’s growing presence on TikTok and winning TikTok public figure of the year. We also noted the presence of the team as a whole on social media, such as a video of race mechanics dancing outside a race garage. Aston Martin as a team has to appeal to many different people through their media output, whether that be older fans who are attracted to the team by the brand name, or newer fans who are drawn in by newer forms of content.  The expectations of each fan and the way they consume Aston Martin, therefore, is going to be different, and the team has to appeal to each fanbase through their campaigns.

Continuing to enquire about media, we asked Rob whether he thought that Drive To Survive had been a positive thing for Formula 1 – there have been conflicting views about the show, as it is arguably quite dramatised. Rob replied, “it’s been a gamechanger for F1, particularly in the states… Drive To Survive has been exceptional in shining a light on the personalities of the teams and sport in a way that the teams themselves may not have been comfortable to do.” He recognised the fact that it was dramatised, but also acknowledged that the biggest concern for a Netflix series is fatigue – how does a show continue to attract audiences by having enough innovation and creativity in storylines? “You forgive it with a little bit of dramatisation because it is a TV show at the end of the day. But it has been a phenomenally powerful tool, particularly to attract younger audiences.”

We asked Rob about the different personalities at Aston Martin, most notably their drivers, and whether there was any difficulty in using them as ambassadors when they have driven for other teams. He gave us the example of Sebastian Vettel, and said that “we learnt more about Sebastian Vettel as a person over his time at Aston Martin than we did over his previous years in F1 – he really did come out of his shell, and we learnt a lot about Sebastian the human.” He continued onto Fernando Alonso, saying that they were “really getting to know him, even at 42 years old. He did the High Performance podcast a few months ago and was very candid about his life story… Yes, of course it’s a bit like football, where players move around and you create a sense of ownership in their identity, but what we’re doing is trying to humanise the drivers, helping them to connect with audiences and bring them out of their shell.” 

From a marketing point of view, he explained that Aston Martin was in a really good place, especially given what has happened for the team on track. For a team, you don’t know what’s going to happen on track that day, so the brand has to be robust enough that there is an immunity to performance. However, “ultimately you can’t beat a driver being on the podium – best marketing campaign in the world.”

On the flipside, he explained how the team copes when they have a bad weekend: “There are two parts to it. Firstly, the brand pillar of being human – humans experience emotion, and the best thing we can do is be honest. If we have a bad weekend, we show that we care and that it’s not where we want to be. I think fans can relate to that… The other part of it is we try to build a lot of equity in our big-picture story, and we shouldn’t be dragged along by brilliant successes or bad weekends on track. The big picture successes are our thing in F1 right now. We try to remind people that we are a work in progress as a team, we are on a massive learning curve; we’re still trying to embed a lot of people into the team, still trying to get settled into the new tech campus… Success is never going to be linear, it was always going to be a squiggly line to climb the hill.” He continued: “it’s not always easy when emotions are high, but the reality of it is that this year we have learnt so much about how the team works together in developing the car, and that will hopefully help us over the next few years. It has to be a big picture project.”

Something that we had noted about Aston Martin was their commitment to women in motorsport, with Jessica Hawkins being the first woman to drive an Formula 1 in 5 years, and announcing Tina Hausmann as their F1 Academy driver. Rob explained that there was a moral responsibility within Aston Martin to demonstrate that the sport is open to everybody, whether that be employees or racing drivers. There was a huge amount of inspiration that came from seeing Jessica Hawkins in an F1 car, but he continued to say that the support has to start from a grassroots level. “I’m delighted by F1 Academy as a program, but there’s even more opportunity to go even further into the grassroots of motorsport, at a karting level, to really encourage more girls to get involved.” When we asked him about the feasibility of seeing a woman on the F1 grid in the future, he said, “there’s no reason why you wouldn’t see an F1 driver, but you have to have a pipeline… We all hope that there will be a female to come out of that pipeline, with opportunities in Free Practice sessions. There are a lot of drivers in motorsport who don’t take that step – there are only 20 F1 drivers in the world, but we are investing in that pipeline and giving them every chance.”

He continued, saying that this was not only something they did with drivers, but also within their wider team. There are a number of women who work in the world of F1, and Aston Martin wants to encourage more women to stick with STEM, study the right topics, dig into the pathway of F1 and provide them with the right opportunities. He gave the example of their good relationship with Girls Across The Grid, an organisation providing a community for women passionate about motorsport.

We concluded our interview by asking him what his advice to a student looking to work in the industry would be, and what he found most rewarding about working in Formula 1. Rob told us that Formula 1 is a high performance culture, and so you have to have the desire to lean into that – after all, it is the pinnacle of motorsport. “It gives you such an amazing platform to be at your best in a high performance space.” He also said that he hoped Aston Martin were taking the right steps to demonstrate that they were an inclusive brand, such as their partnership with the Aleto Foundation, and the foundation of their mentorship program. “My advice is that you need to be brilliant in your discipline, but you don’t need to start in F1” – Aston Martin is ultimately a business, with HR, Marketing and IT along with their engineers, so there are many routes in.

In terms of what he found most rewarding, Rob told us that “It’s an unbelievably rewarding platform” – there is a huge amount of incidence reward, and you can see the results of your actions both on and off track very quickly, which makes it infectious to continue to want to improve. He explained that when the bar is so high, you are challenged every day to bring and deliver your best, so there is a huge amount of reward. He also stressed the fact that Aston Martin was “a family at the end of the day… Everyone’s got each other’s backs. No one individual will change the game, it’s the power of the collective to be where you want to be.”


The design of the facility and the people who work there both convey the same point: the sheer ambition of the team. The new building is not designed for a team content with midfield mediocrity, nor for a team who merely want podiums. This is a facility built for a team with lofty ambitions, for a team who wants to win, for a team where the sky is the only limit to their aspirations. The state-of-the-art design facilities and best-of-the-range tech are not ends in their own right, but the means to the end of similarly top-class results.

The construction of their very own wind-tunnel nearby is a similar monument to the team’s commitment to excellence, and it is surely no coincidence that everyone we spoke to defined their goals as winning, success: nothing less than the best. 

With such an ambitious, driven team and such a top-quality facility, there is little doubt in our minds that the Aston Martin F1 Team will thrive next season and into the future, and we look forward to watching their success. 

Our warmest thanks go to Michael Clayton, Will Hings, and Rob Bloom for giving up their time and allowing us to speak with them and look around the factory. We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity.