Since the earliest days of motorcar manufacturing, there’s been stiff competition between warring companies. It’s a running joke that racing began at the very moment that the second car was built, and the industry continues to be defined by this fierce rivalry.

If there’s one thing those who are passionate about cars love, it’s speed. There’s a continual hunger to go faster, to develop vehicles that are ever more impressive, and it’s this objective that has spurred the development of the motor racing scene.

It started with gentleman racers: men who had plenty of money and a desire to design and drive the fastest cars on the track. They assembled teams and journeyed around Europe to pit themselves against the best of the best.

Their legacy remains today in the form of F1. While modern teams may benefit from far more advanced technology and bigger budgets, they’re driven by the same passion: to go faster. Interestingly, however, so many of them are situated in the Midlands. This article will take a look at why this is the case.

The Home of Motorsport: All Hail Silverstone

Today, F1 is an industry in and of itself. With a global following, it attracts spectators and bettors from every corner of the world. Its biggest stars are household names, a prime example being the talented prodigy Lewis Hamilton who’s currently at odds of 1/1 in the Driver’s Championship outright betting markets for 2021.

Nonetheless, while its allure may be global, one country is home to more F1 teams than any other and that’s the UK. More specifically, these bases are primarily concentrated in a single area, the Midlands.

Woking-based McLaren is the sole outlier, with the rest based in a locale that’s come to be known as Motorsport Valley. What’s interesting is that they follow in the footsteps of many well-known, road-car production companies, including the likes of Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar, and Land Rover.

In part, this is because of the area’s proximity to Silverstone. With the UK becoming a key player in motorsports from the 1940s onwards, there was a desperate desire to stay at the top of its game. That meant innovating and experimenting with new and daring designs, and the best place for teams to test these was this famous circuit.

The Gold Standard

Proximity to this testing ground is only part of the story. In another fortuitous twist of fate, engine-manufacturer Cosworth eventually set up shop in the region. By the 1960s, they’d become the gold standard for F1, which meant that all of the top talents wanted to work for them. The result was an influx of brilliant designers, engineers, and mechanics into the area.
With such a rich pool to choose from, clever teams saw an opportunity. Many began to relocate to the area, including big names from abroad. In recent years, this has included companies such as Force India, Mercedes, and Red Bull.
The aforementioned movement of prolific brands consequently drove a great deal of investment in the region, helping to support numerous STEM development programmes. The result was to nurture a continual stream of fresh talent, driving an unending loop of rich pickings, relocation, and even more investment.
Today, Motorsport Valley continues to draw both the biggest names in the business and the most talented innovators. Nowhere else on earth can compare to this small pocket of the UK, which is something we in the Midlands should be incredibly proud of.