After a long history with the team, Aston Martin has announced the departure of team principal and CEO Otmar Szafnauer. The rumors had been swirling since late last season with complete denial from Szafnauer but it seems his move to the Alpine team is correct.
“Otmar 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 statement reads.
“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.”
Otmar has had a long history of leading this team when it was an under-funded underdog called Force India. He joined the team back in 2009 and was instrumental in keeping things together during the financial meltdown in 2018.
Otmar did a lot to keep the team whole and keep it in the points but if I’m honest, I got the impression there was some tension between him and Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll. I don’t know that for sure but the body language was certainly evidentiary in the Drive to Survive series on Netflix.
When Aston Martin hired former McLaren boss, Martin Whitmarsh, as CEO, perhaps the writing was on the wall.
It is expected that Otmar will now move to Alpine.