Aston Martin

Aston Martin hires ex-Mercedes engine chief Cowell as it prepares for Honda era

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Aston Martin has signed the man who masterminded Mercedes’ domination of the V6 hybrid turbo era as its new Group CEO.

Andy Cowell left Mercedes High Performance Powertrains at the end of January 2021 as the race team prepared for a season which saw them win their eighth consecutive constructors’ championship since the introduced of the current power unit formula. He will replace Martin Whitmarsh as Aston Martin’s Group CEO in October.

Aston Martin are Mercedes engine customers but will become Honda’s factory F1 team in 2026, when new power units are introduced.

Cowell entered Formula 1 with Cosworth before joining BMW when they entered F1 with Williams in 2000. He moved to Mercedes four years later.

Andy Cowell, Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff, Nico Rosberg, Paddy Lowe, Mercedes W07 launch, 2016
Cowell (left) led Mercedes’ hugely successful engine division
Aston Martin executive chairman Lawrence Stroll said Cowell’s signing is a further indication they are on course to become championship contenders.

“I would like to thank Martin who has been instrumental in our growth phase as a business,” he said. “In the last three years, he has developed the team and has helped us achieve some significant milestones, including fostering our relationship with Honda and delivering our state-of-the-art AMR Technology Campus at Silverstone.

“I am delighted to welcome Andy to our team at a crucial time. Together with our works partnership with Honda, the commitment from our title partner Aramco and Andy’s leadership we are on track to become a world championship winning team. Andy has my full backing and will have every resource available to win.”

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Whitmarsh said Cowell will be an “incredible asset” to Aston Martin. “I have known Andy for many years and brought him to Mercedes HPP in 2004 where he became managing director between 2013 and 2020, achieving huge success in the business and sport,” he said.

“Andy’s arrival in October and the completion of the AMR Technology Campus will allow me to step away and focus on other projects in my life, knowing that the foundations have been established with an impressive team, inspiring vision and advanced facilities to achieve success in F1.”

Aston Martin confirmed its driver line-up for 2026 earlier this month, re-signing Stroll’s son Lance on a multi-year deal alongside Fernando Alonso

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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5 comments on “Aston Martin hires ex-Mercedes engine chief Cowell as it prepares for Honda era”

  1. I rate Cowell, whenever he spoke publicly it seemed worth listening to, very passionate… Wish he went just about anywhere else though.

  2. Would someone please explain to me – as I don’t know the in’s and out’s… will Cowell be able to create a lot of positive influence on the engine side of things, even though the engines will be supplied by Honda?

    1. 100% when you look at the difference between the Red Bull-Honda relationship and the McLaren-Honda relationship, they’re worlds apart. It goes to show that it’s not just about making a good engine but you need a good working relationship.

      Apparently things were very frosty and the McLaren just didn’t get along well or know how to work with Honda from the get go. Having Cowell who knows engines well so high up on the team side should help ensure there isn’t any disconnect there.

      They also seemed to have a good relationship even back when Honda was with McLaren as Cowell offered to share their technology to help Honda get their MGU working to prevent the MGU being discarded and Honda leaving for the planned 2021 regulations. Not that it mattered as Honda announced they’d be leaving anyway, and now they’re back once more…

      1. Many thanks, Tristan. Appreciated!

  3. He’s eager to work with a stallion like Lance Stroll, one of the most, if not the most inate talents of this generation.

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