“Start displacing people like Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull” – Aston Martin’s title-winning ambitions led to Martin Whitmarsh arriving and Otmar Szafnauer moving to Alpine

Subham Jindal
|Published 27/03/2022

“Start displacing people like Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull” – Aston Martin brought in Martin Whitmarsh as Group CEO but were still okay with the idea of Otmar Szafnauer continuing as team principal.

Aston Martin brought in half-namesake Martin Whitmarsh as Group Chief Executive Officer in a coup, replacing Otmar Szafnauer.

The latter has since moved on to Alpine, but has revealed he was given the option of staying on with Aston Martin. He declined because he felt Whitmarsh would end up bossing him around, especially in terms of influence.

“Although they asked me to stay, I didn’t think it was appropriate for someone to come in and do 95% of your job and (I) do 5%.

“I probably could have stayed where I was, taken the paycheque to the bank every month. That’s not me. I’m a racer.”

Otmar Szafnauer eager to help Renault to top of podium

The Renault group last won a title in 2006, Fernando Alonso doing the honours. He is with the team again, but it is going to be a much difficult task.

But Szafnauer is ready to take on the challenge, even if it means taking on the Big 3 of Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull.

“It’s a stretch target for sure, but it’s achievable. The reason I say it’s a stretch target is you have to start displacing people like Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull.

“I don’t see them slowing down, but I’m here to take on the challenge.

“If you look back, I think it took Mercedes four years from when they bought (2009 champions) Brawn to win. They had won a World Championship and it took them another four years to start winning again. Red Bull bought Jaguar Racing and it took them four or five years to win.

“You have to do a lot of things right, but that’s a decent timeframe.”

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About the author
Subham Jindal

Subham Jindal

A Red - be it Manchester United or Ferrari. Hails from the hills of Kalimpong, Darjeeling. Aspiring to become a respected Sports Management professional.

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