Aston Martin have announced that Otmar Szafnauer has vacated his role as their Formula 1 team boss and left the company.
Aston Martin’s F1 team has been undergoing a major recruitment drive, with the arrival of former McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh as the new CEO proving their most high-profile signing so far.
Despite Szafnauer stating that this was not a direct threat to his position, doubts over his future did remain, and now his exit has been confirmed.
In a statement Aston Martin thanked Szafnauer for his 12 years of service with the team, adding that the management team currently in place allows them to “take a little time to explore options before announcing a new team structure.”
Szafnauer had been linked with a move to Alpine.
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) January 5, 2022
Szafnauer had been part of the team since 2009, starting out when it was known as Force India, playing an integral role in the team’s improved performance from there.
Breaking the 100-point barrier for a season for the first time in 2012, Force India took another huge step forward come 2015 as Sergio Perez scored their first podium with P3 at the Russian Grand Prix, the team going on to finish that campaign P5 in the Constructors’ Championship, their highest position in the standings at that point in their history.
They rose to P4 in the following two campaigns as their engine partnership with Mercedes truly began to prosper.
Back in 2014 Szafnauer had played a crucial role in securing a long-term deal to use the Mercedes powertrain from that season onwards, which started the turbo-hybrid era as the class of its field.
The money dried up sadly for the team, but following Lawrence Stroll’s purchase of the bankrupt Force India, Szafnauer remained at the helm as the team achieved even greater heights in 2020 under the new Racing Point name, claiming a race win through Perez at the Sakhir Grand Prix, and three further podiums.
Racing Point would morph into Aston Martin for the following season, following Stroll’s investment into the luxury car manufacturer.