Martin Whitmarsh at the 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix
29 April 1958
|Occupation||CEO of McLaren Racing
Team principal of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes (2009–present)
Martin Whitmarsh (born 29 April 1958) is a British businessman and CEO of McLaren Racing, a subsidiary company of the McLaren Group and Chief Operating Officer of that group, as well as team principal of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, following Ron Dennis's retirement on 1 March 2009. Whitmarsh is also the chairman of the Formula One Teams Association and therefore has the responsibility of representing the F1 teams' interests.
Whitmarsh graduated from Portsmouth Polytechnic (now University of Portsmouth) with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1980, and started work at British Aerospace (now BAE Systems) as a structural analysis engineer at its Hamble-le-Rice facility. He was promoted to an advanced composite structures research and development role and transferred to BAe's Weybridge facility. In 1988 he was promoted to the rank of Manufacturing Director and was put in charge of Hawk and Harrier airframe production. He left to join McLaren as Head of Operations in 1989.
In 1997, Whitmarsh was promoted to Managing Director, where he was responsible for managing the F1 operation and its partners and sponsors. This allowed Team Principal Ron Dennis to concentrate on other aspects of the McLaren Group. In April 2004, he was again promoted, this time to the position of CEO of the company's F1 operation.
In recognition of his many achievements he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Portsmouth in 2009.
On 1 March 2009 Ron Dennis stepped down as head of McLaren Racing to take a role in McLaren Automotive as he planned to expand the company's operation in car manufacturing. Whitmarsh became team principal as a result.
Having started 2009 with an uncompetitive car, McLaren improved to beat Ferrari to third in Constructors' championship by a single point. McLaren scored the most points of any team in the second half of the season, immediately ahead of Ferrari.
Whitmarsh has yet to win a championship as team principal of McLaren, although Lewis Hamilton was in mathematical contention for the drivers' title until the final race of the 2010 season, being 24 points behind Fernando Alonso going into the last race of the season.
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- Morrison, Murdo (2004-06-15). "Payback time; Farnborough may lag Paris in air show rankings, but the backing of the US defence giants and three new sector-specific features could give this year's event an edge". Flight International (Reed Business Information). p. 36.
- "Dennis to quit as McLaren F1 boss". BBC Sport. 16 January 2009. p. 1. Retrieved 2009-01-16.