The hiring comes as part of the team’s planned expansion following rebranding to Aston Martin under Lawrence Stroll for the 2021 season. Whitmarsh is best known for his various roles at McLaren spanning 25 years, from 1989 to 2014. Whitmarsh oversaw the brand’s expansion with the launch of McLaren Automotive as well as McLaren Applied Technologies (a key player in EV technology).
Speaking on the new appointment of Whitmarsh, Lawrence Stroll, Executive Chairman, Aston Martin Lagonda and Aston Martin F1 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."
Racing towards Sochi. 🇷🇺 pic.twitter.com/W5baiWLkOa— Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) September 21, 2021
The far reaching expansion and restructuring of the team are a clear indicator of the their intentions going forward, as they hope to take advantage of the sweeping 2022 regulation changes to launch themselves towards the front of the grid. The team have taken a step back from their impressive 2020 performance thus far in 2021 as they refocus on the new regulations.
Martin Whitmarsh, Group CEO, Aston Martin Performance Technologies, echoed Stroll’s sentiment, highlighting the long term goals and ambitions of the F1 team and wider Aston Martin brand.
"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,” Whitmarsh said.
"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."
Aston Martin F1 Team team principal, Otmar Szafnauer added: "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."