Martin Whitmarsh is back in Formula 1 as Group Chief Executive Officer of Aston Martin Performance Technologies, the former McLaren team principal back in the sport after a near-decade break.
After F1, Whitmarsh became chief executive of Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup challenge. He left that role in November 2017 but remains in an advisory position. He is also on the global advisory board of Formula E.
Aton Martin Press release:
Martin Whitmarsh has been recruited to the new role of Group Chief Executive Officer of Aston Martin Performance Technologies.
Aston Martin Performance Technologies will encompass the brand’s Formula One activities and will also develop, apply and take to market the Group’s technical capabilities and intellectual property, with the aim of providing best-in-class innovation, engineering, testing and manufacturing services across a variety of key industry sectors.
Whitmarsh is best known to motorsport insiders, media and fans for his long and successful period at McLaren, for which he worked for 25 years (1989-2014) in various senior positions including Group Chief Executive Officer and Formula One Team Principal for six years (2008-2014). Under his leadership McLaren diversified its business activities beyond its core activity of Formula One, launching McLaren Automotive and McLaren Applied Technologies.
Whitmarsh played a senior and leading role in the winning of more than 100 Formula One Grands Prix and multiple Formula One World Championships, and was at the centre of the development of several Formula One World Champions, including Lewis Hamilton. Whitmarsh was also Chairman of the Formula One Teams’ Association for four years (2009-2013).
Lawrence Stroll, Executive Chairman, Aston Martin Lagonda and Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team, said: “I am very pleased to announce that Martin [Whitmarsh] will be joining us as Group Chief Executive Officer of the new Aston Martin Performance Technologies, from October 1st 2021.
“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 One™ Team into a Formula One World Championship-winning organisation within the next four to five years, and evolving it into a £1 billion business over a similar time period.
“Martin has enjoyed a long, successful and high-profile career, spanning the motorsport, automotive, aerospace, marine and renewable-energy sectors. Moreover, he is a proven winner in Formula One. He is therefore the ideal person for the job of working with me and our senior management team to lead and inspire our workforce to future success both on and off track.”
Martin Whitmarsh, Group Chief Executive Officer, Aston Martin Performance Technologies, said: “I am delighted to have been appointed by Lawrence [Stroll] to the position of Group Chief Executive Officer of the new Aston Martin Performance Technologies, from October 1st 2021.
“I have known and admired Lawrence for many years, and I have always been extremely impressed by his formidable business acumen and his seemingly inexhaustible ambition. Equally, I have always respected ‘Team Silverstone’, if I can call it that, which has often punched above its weight under its various previous incarnations, and which now has the weight with which to punch harder than ever before.
“Lawrence intends Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team to win Formula One World Championships, plain and simple, and I would not have joined him in that endeavour unless I was utterly convinced that it was an entirely achievable aim. I know what it takes to win in Formula One, and, inspired by Lawrence’s leadership and backed by the skill, passion and resolve of the workforce, I intend to do whatever I can to make sure that our team becomes the winning operation that Lawrence is determined that it should be.
“Last but far from least, I am very enthused about the formation of the new Aston Martin Performance Technologies, under which corporate umbrella Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team will sit, and I am excited about the prospect of developing and applying our technical capabilities and intellectual property as a successful and profitable new business.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal and Chief Executive Officer, Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team, said: “Martin [Whitmarsh] is an experienced and capable business leader, extremely successful for McLaren in Formula One, and I am very much looking forward to working with him.
“His role will be a new one, to establish and lead an exciting new brand extension: Aston Martin Performance Technologies. It will also encompass Formula One.
“Our ambitions are to win in everything we do, and, despite the increasing scope and future growth of our off-track activities, our focus on winning in Formula One remains undiminished. Martin’s arrival will allow me to put 100 per cent of my energies into making Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team a winning machine.”