New CEO of Aston Martin F1 in charge of the “Performance Technologies” division, Martin Whitmarsh will deal more specifically, less with the daily management of the F1 team, than with the transfer of technology between F1 and the automobile in general. .
As he has confided, Whitmarsh does not return to F1 with a sense of revenge, especially after being sidelined from McLaren management. Although the Woking team will be a strong competitor to that of Silverstone next year, Whitmarsh arrives without bad intentions, nor resentment or bitterness, he assured.
Especially since the Briton reveals that he had, in the past, received an offer to go to a team other than Aston Martin F1 (whose name he kept secret). But for loyalty to McLaren, he then refused.
“I’m a strange and loyal person and just didn’t want to race against McLaren. «
So why come back to F1 now with Aston Martin F1?
» Never say never. I am still relatively young and in good shape [il a 63 ans]. This year, I have freed myself, so I am not in a managerial position. There is therefore a little desire to push a final “hurray”.
“But I’m open to anything if it’s stimulating and different. To come back … it would have to be something extraordinary. But maybe I’ve already experienced the best things to experience in F1. «
“I was team director and president of FOTA [l’association des équipes de Formule 1, aujourd’hui dissoute], then it would have to be something very special. «
Whitmarsh therefore also returned to F1 because he strongly believed in Lawrence Stroll’s project for the team.
“You can’t do it part-time, it’s 24 hours a day, with good people on the team. But you can’t always choose the owners, who have to be amazing, and many of them aren’t. Well, they are extraordinarily rich. «
Whitmarsh is a regular in the paddocks. He was the one who brought Lewis Hamilton to F1 … and he remembers a touching anecdote on this subject. Where Fernando Alonso did not grow up!
« We signed Fernando first before giving the other seat to Lewis »
« I remember we said to Lewis, ‘Your father knows about this, but what about your mother?’ She worked in a factory. So I called the factory, asked for a supervisor, then I asked for Brenda and hung her up. I passed the phone to Lewis and he said ‘Mom I’m an F1 driver now’. It was a beautiful moment. «
“Then when we told Fernando that he said ‘we’re supposed to fight for the championship.’ How can we fight when we have a rookie in the other car? You can’t be serious. We need someone to push me. «
“We all know how it turned out. «