The five companies that form the McLaren Group are located under one roof at the stunning McLaren Technology Centre, located on a 50-hectare piece of land situated approximately three kilometres north of Woking, Surrey in Great Britain.
Auto123.com was the only North-American media invited by Canadian company Processia Solutions -- new technical partner with the McLaren Formula 1 team -- to visit the McLaren Technology Centre.
The building is stupendous. A height limitation was given for the building -- 11 metres above ground level -- and so the low-built building was sunk into the landscape. The main floor is above the ground and there are two underground levels, serviced by an impressive number of huge elevators capable of lodging a complete F1 car.
The building is very bright, essentially made from aluminum and glass, and the walls are painted off-white. The amount of glass found inside is simply breathtaking. In certain places, it is possible to see through the entire building.
The floors are almost entirely covered with perfectly aligned tiles, and there's just a hint of carpet in certain administrative areas.
There is a strict dress code in effect: dark Hugo Boss t-shirts for the workers (with their surname embroided on the front pocket), and shirt-tie-jacket for the executives, engineers and administrative staff.
The bean-shaped building is split in two by a long corridor that runs from one end to the other, called the Boulevard. Along this alley are aligned some of the most successful McLaren race cars and road vehicles. At the other end are located the numerous and huge cabinets storing the trophies won by the team along the years.
This glass and aluminum structure creates a very peaceful working environment.
All Formula 1 factories basically house the same departments: R&D, a wind tunnel (or sometimes two), design offices, administrative offices, machine shop, composite departments with a certain number of autoclaves, quality control, 7-post rig, storage, race bays for assembling the cars, and more.
McLaren has all this. However, every little detail counts in the McLaren Technology Centre. Everything is outstandingly immaculate, more than any other factories I visited in the past.
Attention given to details is crucial. The off-white paint is used everywhere, from the floor tiles to the working surfaces, from the tool cabinets to the numeric tooling machines, and from the autoclaves to the vein of the wind tunnel!