McLaren veteran Martin Whitmarsh returns to F1 as head of Aston Martin team

Aston Martin on Tuesday named Martin Whitmarsh as CEO of Aston Martin Performance Technologies.

The new division covers Aston Martin’s Formula One efforts, including both the operation of the race team as well as marketing of new services using lessons learned from competing in motorsport’s top echelon. Examples include services related to engineering, innovation, testing and specialized manufacturing.

Whitmarsh is a McLaren veteran, having worked for the rival supercar marque and race team from 1989 to 2014. He rose to head of McLaren and the McLaren F1 team, but was pushed out in 2014 after a poor result the previous season, with Ron Dennis returning to run the company and Eric Boullier taking over the running of the team.

During his time at McLaren, the company diversified its business activities beyond the core activity of F1 racing, by launching the supercar business as well as McLaren Applied Technologies—a business similar to what is planned with the new Aston Martin Performance Technologies division. As part of its ongoing cash-raising efforts, McLaren in August sold McLaren Applied Technologies to an investment company.

Aston Martin Formula One logo

Aston Martin Formula One logo

Whitmarsh was also chairman of the Formula One Teams’ Association between 2009 and 2013.

He will start his new role at Aston Martin on October 1 and report to Lawrence Stroll, chairman of Aston Martin.

“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 organization within the next four to five years,” Stroll said in a statement.

The F1 team, which uses power units from Mercedes-Benz AMG, is currently seventh in the 2021 Constructors’ Championship. Its best-ranked driver is Sebastian Vettel, currently 12th in the Drivers’ Championship.

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