Aston Martin has confirmed the departure of its CEO and team principal Otmar Szafnauer.
Aston Martin confirmed today Szafnauer “has left the company and his role at Aston Martin Cognizant Formula 1 Team will be managed within the leadership team until a replacement is appointed.”
The 57-year-old had been with the team since it competed as Force India.
“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,” Aston Martin’s statement continued.
“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.”
Szafnauer arrived in Formula 1 in 1999 as operations director for the new BAR team. He previously worked for Ford’s racing division in the USA. He subsequently worked for Jaguar and Honda before beginning a lengthy spell at Force India, which later became Racing Point and last year rebranded as Aston Martin.
The team has been on a major recruitment drive of late, hiring significant technical figures from several of their rivals. Former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh was also hired as the Group CEO for Aston Martin Performance Technologies in September.
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44 comments on “Aston Martin announces departure of CEO Otmar Szafnauer”
Marvin The Martian (@marvinthemartian)
5th January 2022, 11:19
Not a surprise given Martin Whitmash’s arrival. He is not a shrinking violet about letting people know how things are being done wrong in his opinion
5th January 2022, 11:20
Wonder if we can expect an announcement from Alpine in the next few days
5th January 2022, 12:34
I expect Alonso to become driver-principal at Alpine :)
You heard it here first.
5th January 2022, 19:53
El Plan finally revealed
6th January 2022, 11:02
‘All the time you have to leave a space……..for a Team Principal’.
Sacha Gortchakoff (@gosac)
6th January 2022, 13:16
7th January 2022, 15:47
good one :D
5th January 2022, 11:26
5th January 2022, 11:28
If my predictions are as solid for stocks I have to invest this year :)
But as I stated before. Otto and stroll are not compatible.
So this was inevitable.
5th January 2022, 19:42
Good luck! Having AML shares in 2020 and last year was a nerve-wracking experience at times, they seem more stable now. Hopefully they come good long term with Tobias Moers at the helm.
6th January 2022, 2:08
I agree. The two have very different characters. They would not have seen eye to eye (comfortably) on how best to do things and sadly it would not have been best for the team
5th January 2022, 11:33
Everytime Otmar and Lawrence appeared on screen together they looked awkward AF…this has been a long time coming.
5th January 2022, 11:35
I think he saw the writing on the wall that his long term is position would be untenable. Sure he’ll be snapped up by another team quickly.
5th January 2022, 12:49
All those who helped fascillitate the sale of ForceIndia to the strolls will eventually get kicked out in the end.
Perez was shown the door not long after, now Szafnauer.
5th January 2022, 12:53
Withmarsh can implement is wiremess management model again.
7th January 2022, 15:55
Yeah. It doesn’t look good to me. Hope I’m wrong.
5th January 2022, 13:11
Eventually after all.
5th January 2022, 13:26
A bald faced liar then, will fit in well with the rest of them.
5th January 2022, 13:30
@skipgamer I’m not sure the decision for his departure was necessarily made at his end. Lawrence Stroll never seemed 100% comfortable with Otmar, and the announcement of Whitmarsh may also have something to do with this announcement.
5th January 2022, 15:00
Suitable for the position toto will leave behind then :)
But on a serious note. Stroll seems to have a habit of sacking people at the latest moment. Keeping all options open until the last moment.
5th January 2022, 17:57
Oh come on you can’t really be this stupid can you? The man doesn’t want to leave.
5th January 2022, 20:40
No one here knows what he wants (life is not a video game and your own sandbox). No need to offend others, especially since you didn’t prove to be “smart” yourself. If anyone here had any real idea we wouldn’t be just fans, but earning money in F1 instead.
6th January 2022, 19:39
I do know actually.
6th January 2022, 2:24
Yup. Everyone knew it, he knew it, he chose those words to deflect it.
The departure is a sign of the team growing out of mercedes dependency.
6th January 2022, 7:44
I think he is booted as he was no planning to quit so calling him a liar is maybe too harsh as he doesn’t have any saying about this.
5th January 2022, 13:29
It was painful listening to him trying to justify retaining Stroll Jr over Perez – it was clear then that he wouldn’t be there for long. I think he’s a decent resource for any midfield team given Force India’s performance back then so he should be snapped up soon.
5th January 2022, 13:32
I hope the silly behaviour Otmar engaged in several times this year will be retired by the team, too.
5th January 2022, 13:35
A shame, but not too unexpected. While I haven’t always seen eye to eye with him, there is no doubt that he’s a great team principal and has worked wonders with that Silverstone team (through their various iterations) over the years, especially considering the budget they had in the Force India days. I hope to see him back in the sport with someone (*cough* Alpine *cough*)
5th January 2022, 15:11
Fire your CEO 3 months before a new season with new regulations… What could go wrong?
5th January 2022, 15:27
@János, I doubt a single individual leaving will have a noticeable impact.
5th January 2022, 19:34
@jerejj I think one person can have a huge impact especially in a key position.
6th January 2022, 7:48
Not at this time as most work was done in 2021. That is why he was layed off at this moment. This impact more the long term visions of the team.
I have an opinion
6th January 2022, 7:07
I feel Lawrence Stroll has been a far greater hands-on owner than, say, Dietrich Mateschitz or John Elkann / famiglia Agnelli. So Otmar has only nominally been CEO / team principal while his real role has been middle manager.
6th January 2022, 7:51
I think your mistaken as Dietrich Mateschitz gets what he wants maybe he is more subtil in how he does it like using a certain Doctor…
5th January 2022, 16:35
and it looks like BWT has gone as a sponsor too.
Jay Menon (@jaymenon10)
5th January 2022, 23:52
I believe they are moving to Alpine.
5th January 2022, 20:26
Otmar for Race Director!
I have an opinion
6th January 2022, 6:54
Almost everyone in the paddock that you could name would do a better job than Masi. The problem is, why would they want that job?
6th January 2022, 7:55
Correct what you do it’s always wrong that was even in the time of Charlie (maybe less but his experience was more then 30 years more then Massi)
I think he needs some more people in his team to let the pressure taken by more shoulders.
6th January 2022, 8:37
Straight up dude, knowledgeable, well respected and quick enough – very good candidate for Masi’s gig.
6th January 2022, 9:43
I wonder whether we’ll see the team struggle more for cohesion and team spirit after his departure.
It just doesn’t seem to have the same vibe as it did in the FI days
6th January 2022, 13:11
curious now to see if OS will be asked to comment on Aston Martin, etc. Would love to know if all his praise of Lance (always using superlatives when Lance had a decent race or qualy) were a part of his contract of if it was genuine. i always found it very disturbing..
also, since the rumour probably during fall when he was refusing rumours of him leaving, i knew this would come..so, no surprise..Stroll for world champion! not!
6th January 2022, 15:35
But will he tell us what he really thinks of Lance’s qualities now?
6th January 2022, 22:12
I would say he has achieved the amximum result with that team as such it is a good time to move on?
Comments are closed.