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September 22, 2021

Former McLaren chief Whitmarsh returns to F1 with Aston Martin

The Aston Martin Formula 1 team has appointed Martin Whitmarsh to the role of group chief executive of its new Aston Martin Performance Technologies division.

By Tariq Saleh

The Aston Martin Formula 1 team has appointed Martin Whitmarsh to the role of group chief executive of its new Aston Martin Performance Technologies division. 

He will take up the newly-created position from 1 October.

Aston Martin Performance Technologies “will encompass the brand's Formula 1 activities and will also develop, apply and take to market the group’s technical capabilities and intellectual property.”

The team said the aim is to provide “best-in-class innovation, engineering, testing and manufacturing services across a variety of key industry sectors.”

Whitmarsh has significant experience in the motorsports industry, having spent 25 years at McLaren in various senior positions, including chief executive and team principal for six years.

He was credited for diversifying McLaren’s business activities beyond its core activity of Formula 1, launching McLaren Automotive and McLaren Applied Technologies.

Lawrence Stroll, executive chairman of Aston Martin Formula 1 team, said: "Martin will enjoy senior leadership responsibility and will assist and support me in setting the new strategic direction for Aston Martin Performance Technologies and its subsidiaries, including the crucial objective of leading the transformation of Aston Martin Cognizant Formula 1 Team into a Formula One World Championship-winning organisation within the next four to five years, and evolving it into a £1 billion ($1.4 billion) business over a similar time period.” 

Otmar Szafnauer serves as team principal and chief executive of Aston Martin and said Whitmarsh’s new role will be “to establish and lead an exciting new brand extension” that will also encompass Formula 1.

Whitmarsh is the second former McLaren executive to join Aston Martin after the team appointed Rob Bloom as chief marketing officer in January.

However, unlike Whitmarsh, Bloom joined Aston Martin directly from McLaren Racing, where he has spent the previous eight years.

In the past 18 months, Aston Martin also hired Jefferson Slack, the former senior vice-president of football at the IMG agency, as managing director of commercial and marketing and Olly Dale, the former commercial director of English soccer giants Liverpool, as chief commercial officer.

Aston Martin made its comeback in Formula 1 this season after previously featuring in the sport back in 1959 and 1960.

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