Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

A grand Mercedes day out // The historic Brooklands track in Surrey holds special memories

Published by Lukeh

The historic Brooklands racetrack lies within the depths of the Surrey countryside. Despite opening over 100 years ago and hosting it’s last race in 1939, the iconic banked circuit still remains very special to many motorsport fans and along with its museum continues to attract visitors each year. Of course the area is still very much centred around that of motorsport with Mercedes-Benz World now inhabiting it's space. With the sun out it seemed like a great way of getting out of the house for the afternoon.

The main building standing tall
The main building standing tallCredit: Lou Johnson

A short bus ride from the local station we soon found ourselves looking at the daunting structure that is Mercedes- Benz World. Once inside we had our first glimpse of Formula 1 related Mercedes engineering with a recent safety car situated near the entrance. Beyond this, the multitude of floors included a range of cars from one of the first Mercedes produced to recent supercars and of course F1 cars.

While the expanse of beautiful cars, including the famous Gullwin and Maybach, was jaw dropping this was not the main reason for our visit. For the first floor of this spectacular building is currently home to a very special exhibition. Created by the artist Paul Veroude the F1 art exhibition is one that certainly needs to be seen to be believed.

Best puppet show ever.
Best puppet show ever.Credit: Lou Johnson

The centrepiece ‘View Suspended II’ is a stunning example of just how beautiful F1 is. The Mercedes Formula 1 car dismantled into every single little piece. Each cog, screw and piece of engineering brilliance that goes into these cars hung from the ceiling well lit up and absolutely gobsmacking to look at from any angle. Highlighting how much the sport we all love is art just as much it is engineering brilliance, seeing it in person really is something else.

Where would we be without cogs?
Where would we be without cogs?Credit: Lou Johnson

Along side the main piece, there is also a selection of Mercedes Formula 1 cars, ranging from a Force India and the 2008 McLaren to Mika Hakkinen’s car. Well lit by huge windows the whole exhibition is a joy to photograph.

Racing reflection stripes, how innovative.
Racing reflection stripes, how innovative.Credit: Lou Johnson

It’s not only inside that made Mercedes Benz World such a fascinating place to go to. Luckily we chose the perfect day to head down to this part of Surrey as the weather was pretty much blue skies as far as the eye could see with sunshine beaming down all day. Outside the centre you can find the skid pans that the company organise trips and events on for those paying as well as a mini-circuit for cars and supercars to go out racing on. It was fabulous fun just watching these and we can only imagine just how much fun it would be to take part in such driving experiences.

Brooklands Banking, resting in the sunset.
Brooklands Banking, resting in the sunset.Credit: Lou Johnson

Furthermore, the surroundings of Mercedes Benz World alongside the Brooklands circuit means you have this historical piece of track sitting there all be it in a lesser state than the attraction beside it but holding so much history. Just the image of the banking itself and to stand on what heritage it has looking as it curl away into the fenced off woodlands was quite a sight. It was a little bit sad to see the higher curved part of the track hidden away from public access but I suppose with health and safety it makes sense. Such an incredible sight to see though especially when you think of the history it has.

Mercedes – Benz World really is a great day out, whether you’re paying for a driving experience or just spending some time enjoying the beauty of the cars. For a free attraction it has plenty to offer, although we have no idea how much longer the blown up Formula 1 car will be there. But with other F1 cars for you to see, plenty of gorgeous classic models from Mercedes’ past and just a relaxed atmosphere to the whole experience it’s just a grand day out that we both really, really enjoyed.

As an extra bonus we discovered it’s also possible to watch European Formula 1 races there! They have Wifi in the building and with such a lovely atmosphere it would surely make a great opportunity to watch the race with fellow fans.

You can find more photos from our day out on Lou and Lukeh’s flickr pages.