Szafnauer: I will be the manager of the Aston Martin team and report to Whitmarsh
Martin Whitmarsh returns to Formula 1 with Aston Martin in a role much the same as McLaren, namely CEO, but the day-to-day management of Lawrence Stroll’s team will remain in the hands of Otmar Szafnauer.
One of Ron Dennis’ big decisions, in the final days of his fall as the head of the squad he assembled, was to oust Whitmarsh at the end of the 2013 season, after which he left the F1 radar, rarely speaking publicly about the sport or his former team.
He then became CEO of the America’s Cup Challenge at Olympic Ben Ainslie until November 2017, when he assumed an advisory role. A month later, he was commissioned by the FIA to consult on cost reduction in motorsport.
Whitmarsh is also a member of the Hamilton Commission, started by former driver (now seven-time F1 world champion) Lewis Hamilton, and sits on the Formula E advisory board.
Billionaire Stroll announced last month that Whitmarsh had been hired as the CEO he now holds at Aston Martin Performance Technologies.
Talk to Motorsport.com, the team director, Szafnauer, explained how the management of the team will work in the future: “F1 will remain under my direction and my attributions. So I will always be a team leader and CEO. Martin will be the group’s CEO, with F1 reporting through him.
“I guess the only thing that hasn’t been planned is how much time, because he has the whole group,” he devotes to each of these entities.
“I imagine that at the beginning most of his time will be spent developing the area of Aston Martin Performance Technologies, where his most recent expertise is located, and will not focus so much on F1. not been planned is how long it will spend where.
Sazfanuer credits Whitmarsh’s vast experience in F1 – which included the presidency of the (now defunct) Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) – as a big plus in building a powerful team with huge ambitions.
“He was there at McLaren when they started doing this, so he has that experience, and he can take us shortcuts to do it.
“He also has seven years of experience in boat racing, including starting a new business that uses boat racing technology and transfers that technology into, I think, freighters.
“And it’s an applied technology type business, technology transfer. He has good experience in this area and he will help us shorten the development of our performance technology business, ”Szafnauer added.
The American joined Honda when the Japanese automaker returned to the top flight in 2001, remaining with the F1 team until 2008.
Szafnauer joined the Force India team in 2009 where he remained during the transition of the operation from Vijay Mallya to Stroll’s Racing Point, which has since evolved into the Aston Martin dream team under construction. at Silverstone.