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Martin Whitmarsh appointed CEO of Aston Martin Performance Technologies [split]


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#1 pacificquay

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 12:45

Martin Whitmarsh is the new group Chief Exec of Aston Martin



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#2 mclarensmps

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 13:18

Martin Whitmarsh is the new group Chief Exec of Aston Martin

 

As long as he stays far far away from the race team itself, it's a great hire. 



#3 FLB

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 14:07

This... is... uhh... unexpected.


Edited by FLB, 21 September 2021 - 14:07.


#4 Risil

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 14:07

I've split this out as Martin Whitmarsh is a name I haven't seen in a while.



#5 Marklar

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 14:10

hes-back.gif



#6 SophieB

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 14:10

In hindsight this seems logical.



#7 FLB

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 14:11

According to Autohebdo, the F1 team will fall under his responsabilites:

 

https://www.autohebd...erformance.html (en francais)



#8 Risil

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 14:12

Some details courtesy of Andrew Benson at the BBC:
 

Aston Martin F1 CEO and team principal Otmar Szafnauer will report to Whitmarsh, with both men answerable to Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll.

[...]

Whitmarsh said he had been impressed by Stroll's "formidable business acumen and his seemingly inexhaustible ambition".

He added: "Lawrence intends Aston Martin to win F1 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 F1 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."

 

If Performance Technologies is meant to be a separate company looking at applying F1 technology and methods outside of motor sport, why does Otmar Szafnauer report to Whitmarsh? And why would Lawrence Stroll be bigging up how MW is a "proven winner" in F1? I smell politics. The Aston Martin beat is going to be an interesting one for F1 journos in the years ahead.



#9 SophieB

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 14:14

At least he has form in dealing with strong minded individuals.

 

My favourite Martin Whitmarsh story is how he had the job of explaining to Ron Dennis that Ron acting personally as lollipop man didn’t demonstrate that they were a team where the boss cared massively about detail, it just made them look a bit ridiculous and run by a boss who was deeply eccentric.



#10 Risil

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 14:18

The solution is always more Ron!



#11 Timstr11

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 14:19

As long as he stays far far away from the race team itself, it's a great hire. 

 

The person who lead Mclaren down the garden path is at Alpine now.

 

Good to see Whitmarsh back.


Edited by Timstr11, 21 September 2021 - 14:20.


#12 mclarensmps

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 14:23

The person who lead Mclaren down the garden path is at Alpine now.

 

Good to see Whitmarsh back.

I don't agree with that bolded portion. A huge reason why Mercedes exists right now as it's own team is Martin Whitmarsh. Yes, Ron and Max may have been setting up some of the Dominos, but it was Martin who actually tipped them over.

He is a great executive, but not team manager material. The role he is being hired for right now will suit him perfectly. 



#13 milestone 11

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 14:28

The person who lead Mclaren down the garden path is at Alpine now.
 
Good to see Whitmarsh back.

No. Thankfully, that person went back to Oz and has never been heard of since.  ;)

#14 Risil

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 14:33

I don't agree with that bolded portion. A huge reason why Mercedes exists right now as it's own team is Martin Whitmarsh. Yes, Ron and Max may have been setting up some of the Dominos, but it was Martin who actually tipped them over.

He is a great executive, but not team manager material. The role he is being hired for right now will suit him perfectly. 

 

Are you referring to Whitmarsh's decision as McLaren principal to not object to Mercedes extending its engine supply to Brawn in 2009?



#15 pacificquay

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 14:54

Are you referring to Whitmarsh's decision as McLaren principal to not object to Mercedes extending its engine supply to Brawn in 2009?

 

Which would surely be a strategic decision and as such flies in the face of the assessment that he's a "great executive but not team manager material"



#16 sheSgoTthElooK

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 14:58

Whitmarsh is smart and as a former and I guess yet again Mclaren Fan... I'm happy that "he is back"  :D

 

Get Norbert Haug back again. And Mario Theissen. And Hulkenberg...

 

Make F1 great again  :rotfl:

 

 



#17 mclarensmps

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 15:05

Are you referring to Whitmarsh's decision as McLaren principal to not object to Mercedes extending its engine supply to Brawn in 2009?

 

 

Which would surely be a strategic decision and as such flies in the face of the assessment that he's a "great executive but not team manager material"

I am, and he would not be in a position to make that decision working UNDER Ron in his previous role.

It seems like Martin is taking a role akin to what Jonathan Neale has at McLaren currently. If you were to try and compare hierarchy right now, the closest comparison you could make is Zak doing most of Ron's work, and Neale doing Whitmarsh's work. 

I don't believe this flies in the face of anything. 



#18 Dolph

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 15:10

At least he has form in dealing with strong minded individuals.

 

My favourite Martin Whitmarsh story is how he had the job of explaining to Ron Dennis that Ron acting personally as lollipop man didn’t demonstrate that they were a team where the boss cared massively about detail, it just made them look a bit ridiculous and run by a boss who was deeply eccentric.

 

When did Ron stop with the lollipop



#19 JimmyClark

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 15:12

It will be interesting to see if Otmar sticks around, as rumours are that he and Stroll aren't on the best of terms. At least there is a ready made succession if he does leave. 

 

Presumably this is also the news Saward was on about earlier in the summer. 



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#20 Timstr11

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 15:13

I am, and he would not be in a position to make that decision working UNDER Ron in his previous role.

It seems like Martin is taking a role akin to what Jonathan Neale has at McLaren currently. If you were to try and compare hierarchy right now, the closest comparison you could make is Zak doing most of Ron's work, and Neale doing Whitmarsh's work. 

I don't believe this flies in the face of anything. 

 

 

The decision not to object to a Brawn engine deal only exposed what was already wrong in McLaren's technical organization.

That's where the core of the problem was in my opinion. With Whitmarsh at the helm I guess he is accountable, but their problems had nothing to do with supplying Brawn.



#21 SophieB

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 15:14

When did Ron stop with the lollipop

He describes it as a few months after joining so I guess 1989? 



#22 Risil

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 15:21

The decision not to object to a Brawn engine deal only exposed what was already wrong in McLaren's technical organization.

That's where the core of the problem was in my opinion. With Whitmarsh at the helm I guess he is accountable, but their problems had nothing to do with supplying Brawn.

 

How do you mean? I can't see the link between McLaren letting Brawn have Mercedes engines and the weaknesses of their technical departments.

 

I don't think it was a technical decision -- McLaren surely already knew that their engine was very competitive and that Brawn would be better off with it than for instance a Cosworth. Unless I'm missing something the decision was either moral (prevent F1 from entering a financial crisis induced death spiral) or political (would be good to gain a client ahead of a bruising season of FOTA vs FIA politics).



#23 DeKnyff

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 15:32

Excuse me for my ignorance, but what exactly is 'Aston Martin Performance Technologies'? Is it the road car constructor, the F1 team, Aston Martin racing division? Genuine question.



#24 pup

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 15:34

It will be interesting to see if Otmar sticks around, as rumours are that he and Stroll aren't on the best of terms. At least there is a ready made succession if he does leave. 

 

Presumably this is also the news Saward was on about earlier in the summer. 

I suspect that this is on the job training for Whitmarsh. 

 

Otmar came across as a real bootlick last season on Amazon.  I'm sure billionaires expect that, and probably like it to an extent, but I have to imagine that Stroll wants someone with a semblance of a spine at the helm.  Whitmarsh has that semblance - when needed, he'll push back just hard enough, but not too hard. 


Edited by pup, 21 September 2021 - 15:35.


#25 pacificquay

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 16:02

Excuse me for my ignorance, but what exactly is 'Aston Martin Performance Technologies'? Is it the road car constructor, the F1 team, Aston Martin racing division? Genuine question.

 

All of the above



#26 Rodaknee

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 17:01

Whitmarsh is the new 'soft' face of Aston Martin.  Both Stroll and Otmar Szafnauer are awkward in front of the cameras.  Whitmarsh solves the image issue, I expect to see a lot of him at races in future.  Whitmarsh is no management guru, his introduction of the Matrix system to McLaren was a disaster, that's taken Zak Brown several seasons to exterminate.



#27 AustinF1

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 17:31

It will be interesting to see if Otmar sticks around, as rumours are that he and Stroll aren't on the best of terms. At least there is a ready made succession if he does leave. 

 

Presumably this is also the news Saward was on about earlier in the summer. 

Yep, I was just about to post that I wonder how this will affect Otmar's role.



#28 Baddoer

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 17:41

Okay, now just take Nick Fry from under the carpet, shake off some dust and stick somewhere and here we go



#29 mstar

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 17:55

No. Thankfully, that person went back to Oz and has never been heard of since.  ;)

 

lewis and his dad back in 2019 said Martin was the best boss he ever had in F1 (remember he been under Toto with the Nico saga).

 

He respects Martin that much he is part of setting up Lewis Foundation (this year) where he is trying to increase diversity in F1.  So no he has been around in F1 just hasn't been that visible where you see him on SKy sports in the garages etc


Edited by mstar, 21 September 2021 - 17:57.


#30 FLB

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 18:17

Yep, I was just about to post that I wonder how this will affect Otmar's role.

His days are numbered, IMHO.



#31 FirstnameLastname

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 18:20

Matthew Carter next please

#32 Sam1

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 18:36

It seems he is head honcho to everyone other than strol so once he gets to grips and starts flexing his powers I expect him to be a replacement for otmar mad even if he's not if he gets involved I expect the team to take a dive come 23/24 season as it would take this long for his work to take effect I fully expect another paddy low at Williams in the works

#33 milestone 11

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 18:47

lewis and his dad back in 2019 said Martin was the best boss he ever had in F1 (remember he been under Toto with the Nico saga).
 
He respects Martin that much he is part of setting up Lewis Foundation (this year) where he is trying to increase diversity in F1.  So no he has been around in F1 just hasn't been that visible where you see him on SKy sports in the garages etc

I think you missed my point there mstar.

#34 AustinF1

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 18:55

It seems he is head honcho to everyone other than strol so once he gets to grips and starts flexing his powers I expect him to be a replacement for otmar mad even if he's not if he gets involved I expect the team to take a dive come 23/24 season as it would take this long for his work to take effect I fully expect another paddy low at Williams in the works

Yep, at the very best for Otmar, it's another person above him on the food chain.



#35 mstar

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 19:20

Yer i agree maybe they looking at Martin eventually heading up the F1 team.  He has the credentials and has always been respected in the paddock, and more importantly has big fans in Brawn and Todt.



#36 HP

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 21:13

Ouch!



#37 jwill189

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 22:32

According to Autohebdo, the F1 team will fall under his responsabilites:

 

Nice pun.



#38 pacificquay

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 09:39

Good article here from Eddmund Straw about this:

 

https://the-race.com...-f1-masterplan/
 



#39 OvDrone

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 10:13

Legend has it that if you say 'Whitmarsh Whitmarsh Whitmarsh' in the mirror on Wednesday nights at 3:30am you'll instantly collapse the karmic infrastructure of your F1 team giving all it's luck and goodwill to a likeable backmarker.

 

It does however chase away that annoying goblinoid 'The Ronner' from under your sink, releasing your life from it's constant malevolent awkwardness.



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#40 Risil

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Posted 11 November 2021 - 16:57

Yep, I was just about to post that I wonder how this will affect Otmar's role.

 

Negatively, it turned out: https://www.autospor...alpine/6770234/

 

Still, nice job in West Oxfordshire awaits.



#41 FirstnameLastname

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Posted 11 November 2021 - 17:09

Never been too much cross-team movement of the team bosses has there?

Felt Otmar was on shakey ground as there’s been a bit of an exodus at Aston since their new billionaire owner wanted to stamp his own mark on things. The fawning over Lance in press releases was a bit degrading for Otmar really, think that was maybe the final straw

#42 Risil

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Posted 11 November 2021 - 17:12

I think Szafnauer's leaving because reporting to Martin Whitmarsh is a different job to reporting to Lawrence Stroll. It's not technically a demotion, but it's a step down the pecking order. He might even have applied for Whitmarsh's role and been turned down.



#43 Fastcake

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Posted 11 November 2021 - 17:29

I can't help but think that is a coup for Alpine and a mistake by Stroll at Aston Martin.

 

Otmar Szafnauer with Bob Fearnley kept Force India going through multiple funding crisis and the legal difficulties of its owners, and usually managed to vastly outperform their budget and outscore better funded teams. It's hard not to say he is pretty good at managing a team!



#44 FirstnameLastname

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Posted 11 November 2021 - 17:33

Did Otmar not come from Honda? I thought he’d always done better with restricted budgets… I’ve maybe got the wrong guy

#45 Stephane

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Posted 11 November 2021 - 17:54

He was at Honda at some point, yep.

#46 mclarensmps

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Posted 11 November 2021 - 18:21

Never been too much cross-team movement of the team bosses has there?

Felt Otmar was on shakey ground as there’s been a bit of an exodus at Aston since their new billionaire owner wanted to stamp his own mark on things. The fawning over Lance in press releases was a bit degrading for Otmar really, think that was maybe the final straw

 

He doesn't need any help from the Strolls to degrade himself in the press, to be fair. 



#47 ANF

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Posted 05 January 2022 - 11:27

I think Szafnauer's leaving because reporting to Martin Whitmarsh is a different job to reporting to Lawrence Stroll. It's not technically a demotion, but it's a step down the pecking order. He might even have applied for Whitmarsh's role and been turned down.

You were right about him leaving.
 

Otmar Szafnauer has left the Company and his role at Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team will be managed within the leadership team until a replacement is appointed.

We would like to thank him for the service provided to the team over the past 12 years and wish him well for the future as he will undoubtedly take on new challenges.

Fortunately, we are led and managed by a strong group of individuals, and we are comfortable to take a little time to explore options before announcing a new team structure.

The focus of the team is currently on preparing the most competitive car possible for the start of the 2022 season.

https://www.astonmar...arture-of-otmar



#48 pacificquay

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Posted 05 January 2022 - 11:30

He is clearly going to Alpine, which makes the wording of his denial back in November both a bit arsey and anti good journalism.



#49 jpm2019

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Posted 05 January 2022 - 12:24

After seeing drive to survive I knew he would be gone after this season. He was almost ******* himself in fear in front of Stroll. 



#50 dissident

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Posted 05 January 2022 - 13:20

Least surprising news of the winter break so far.

 

I am a bit skeptical when it comes to Stroll's approach, this is probably a good thing for Otmar.