Aston Martin team principal and CEO Otmar Szafnauer has left the company after more than a decade with the team.
Szafnauer joined Aston Martin when it was known as Force India back in 2009, and helped the team to numerous impressive results despite financial uncertainty. He was instrumental in the team surviving after it went into administration in 2018, becoming team principal after Lawrence Stroll’s takeover and subsequent rebranding as Aston Martin.
As Stroll invests in the team, Martin Whitmarsh joined as group CEO last year and a senior paddock source told RACER that Szafnauer was unhappy at the management structure being put in place around him that would limit his influence. It is understood Szafnauer had started exploring opportunities, leading to links with Alpine in November.
While Szafnauer attempted to avoid questions about his future at the time, it has now been confirmed he is no longer part of Aston Martin and there will be no immediate announcement regarding his successor.
“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,” an Aston Martin statement read.
“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.”