Whitmarsh joins aston

Martin Whitmarsh has been recruited to the new role of Group Chief Executive Officer of Aston Martin Performance Technologies, a new entity which will encompass the firm’s F1 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”.

In essence, however, this puts Whitmarsh in charge of the whole of the F1 business, which means that owner Lawrence Stroll’s recent denials that there would be someone put in above Otmar Szafnauer seem a little out of place.

Whitmarsh worked for McLaren from 1989 to 2014 including being the group Chief Executive Officer and Formula 1 Team Principal from 2008-2014. Under his leadership McLaren diversified its business activities with McLaren Automotive and McLaren Applied Technologies.

“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 F1 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,” said Stroll. “Martin has enjoyed a long, successful and high-profile career, spanning the motorsport, automotive, aerospace, marine and renewable-energy sectors.”

Whitmarsh will start work on October 1.

Since departing from F1 Whitmarsh has been involved in the world of sailing and in wind technology.

Readers of the JSBM newsletter will have learned last week that Whitmarsh was joining the team, although Stroll’s denials made it rather difficult to pin-point the role.

33 thoughts on “Whitmarsh joins aston

  1. I’m pleased to see Martin back, I always had great respect for him during his time at McLaren. By all accounts a really top bloke.

  2. I seem to remember that Martin Whitmarsh was a key proponent of the matrix management structure for McLaren F1. Also that this was considered by many to be a reason McLaren F1 lost their way. Any comment Joe?

  3. Am I wrong to remember that Whitmarsh took McLaren from the front of the grid to the back? I seem to remember that he had set up a management structure that simply didn’t work. Isn’t it also the reason why Lewis left for Mercedes?

  4. I’ve been harping on for a few years that Otmar needs to be moved on.

    Ideally couple this appointment with the return of Simon Roberts would be perfect in my eyes for the team to take the next step.
    I was a regular contractor long before when Simon was parachuted in my Mac’s and he made (to my eyes) a massive difference. I was also a contractor long after and the team as a team went down after he left..

    I believe he had a lot of respect from the staff.
    Anyhoo just my personal opinion from near when I was and now from afar

  5. Stroll was looking to replace Vettel over the summer and now he’s hiring above Szafnauer. Not a happy place to work, it seems.

    1. Drive to Survive showed that Stroll Sr is not one you want to displease. Claire Williams was at the receiving end of the death stare and looked quite uncomfortable. Ron Dennis was also known as a hard ass. Evidently Whitmarsh is a bit of a masochist…

    1. With respect, I woud suggest that they are far more focussed on their own team’s performance, than they are wasting time worrying about a new appointee at a rival team.

  6. If you believe in conspiracy theories, then SKY tv engineered the MW deal, so they could get some new interviews, and not leave viewers completely bored by the current crop.

  7. Just another thought: how about Dave Brailsford taking over the team manager position from Toto Wolff at Mercedes? The connection is Ineos:

  8. interesting goings at Aston Martin F1. They have a most gifted driver, a top manager now . . . Lance is most gifted driver in F1 – he was gifted a whole F1 team. They have 4xWDC Vettel to show how good Lance is against 4xWDC, now they build a new factory, cornerstone dug with golden spade, now this expansion into aerospace industry . . . what next? somewhat resembling McLaren affairs 14 years ago repeated

  9. Martin Twitmarsh, the John Major of Formula 1, just more boring

    If he lived 100 odd years ago, he would have been rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic. That management matrix of his was a disaster in this era, it was everything to no-one.

  10. It feels to me that the role as described is looking to “leverage” the F1 Engineering kudos and build some resilience into the business by diversification. The other roles he has held would seem to support that. I just hope he doesn’t try to re create old McLaren, that was a business from a different time.

    Good luck to all the hardworking troops at the front line. Real folks with real mortgages not the top table glitterati.

    Looking forward to the team making the next step, whoever is pulling the strings.

    1. That “Indian bloke” was proven to be just that, a liar. I do not understand your hostility toward Joe, who provides us this information free of charge.

      1. And if he wasn’t he would not be fighting extradition to 🇮🇳 to be judged on evidence in court as opposed to his trial and defence by the media.

        Based on prima facia evidence he is guilty.

  11. I’m 99 percent sure that Lawrence stroll makes less mistakes in business than the rest of us so I don’t understand the nature of some of these comments.
    Whitmarsh doesn’t last as long as he did by being a buffon and if you read Joe comments it’s clear stroll has bug ambitions for Aston including a spike in overall revenue.
    I remember Stefano was an idiot when he left ferrari by many peoples narrow view and Lambo sales weren’t shabby when he left. So let’s judge Martin whitmarsh on results rather than suppositions.

    1. Certainty is not an indication of truth.

      F1 history is full of rich guys who took on F1 and lasted just a few years without any real success. Even huge corporations like Toyota couldn’t hack it. And then there’s Honda who leaves the sport just when success arrives, but that’s another story.

      This also happens at all other levels of motor racing. Lots of successful business people get involved in the sport, from Formula Ford up the racing ladder. They start out thinking they would apply their “business winning formula” only to quietly go away after a lot of fruitless effort and expense. Return on investment is not the same in racing as in business.

      What impresses me is that Stroll Sr would not only buy an F1 team but also a car manufacturer at his advancing age. His energy and determination are remarkable. It will be interesting to see how this all develops over the next few years.

  12. I was in a marquee once with that Indian bloke and I can’t forget how small and insignificant he seemed but how hard he tried to be noticed.

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