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UK Motorsport industry in pole position for F1’s 70th anniversary

07:28 17 August in Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing, Americas, Lifestyle & Environment, News, Oxfordshire, Talent and Innovation

With 7 out of the 10 Formula 1 (F1) teams choosing to base themselves in the UK, British technology and expertise competed against each other at Silverstone, as the sport celebrated its 70th anniversary on the very circuit the Championship started in 1950.

More Grand Prix cars are made in Britain than any other country and throughout the last seven decades, the UK has won more titles than any other nation – a testament to the country’s automotive research and development (R&D) industry.

Motorsport Valley® in the UK is the undisputed leader in global motorsport; home to around 4,300 businesses, employing more than 40,000 people with an annual sales turnover of £10 billion. According to the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) 70% of UK motorsport businesses export their products and services abroad and the US is the UK’s largest export market.

Also known as Silicon Fen, Motorsport Valley® refers to the cluster of firms based around Oxfordshire and the Midlands involved in supplying cutting-edge technology to Formula One, Formula E and many other motorsport sectors. They dominate the design and manufacture of components used in the majority of the world’s racing categories today.

The valley is also home to some of the world’s biggest and most recognised racing teams. It’s within the geography of this valley that science and technology take the forefront in pioneering the next big innovations in motorsports.

In ongoing negotiations with the US, the Department for International Trade (DIT) aims to strike a comprehensive free trade deal that will make transatlantic trade much easier for UK exporters.

“From aerodynamics to safety developments, F1 has always been at the forefront of technological innovation with advancements that have directly benefitted the global automotive industry. This is only possible because of our people. Our sport employs thousands in the UK, with 25,000 skilled engineers linked to F1, as well as supply chains across continents. Increasingly, the technology used by UK motorsport companies is filtering down into the wider automotive sector, as well as other industries such as health and infrastructure. At the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, British F1 teams played an intrinsic role in the UK’s fight against the virus, uniting to form ‘project pitlane’, a Covid-19 respiratory device response. The Department for International Trade supports the UK motorsports sector through its work with MIA, a DIT Trade Access Programme (TAP) delivery partner, which runs annual trade missions to the US and Europe.”

A Formula 1 spokesperson

“Since the first race at Silverstone 70 years ago, the UK has contributed so much to Formula 1 on and off the track. The UK is not just home to the reigning world champion, but also the majority of teams’ headquarters, which is testament to our world-leading motorsport industry. Through innovation, manufacturing excellence and our highly skilled workforce, British F1 has transformed the global automotive industry and will continue to do so for decades to come.”

Minister for Exports, Graham Stuart


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