Aston Martin Formula 1 team principal Otmar Szafnauer has left with immediate effect.
The 57-year-old American had served the Silverstone-based team for 12 years under three of its names: Force India, Racing Point and Aston Martin.
It’s unclear where Szafnauer could head next, especially as the start of the new F1 season is only two months away. He has been linked to Alpine in the past but denied those reports when they first surfaced.
Aston Martin hasn’t released any details on his replacement, although it does have a potential candidate already on its books. Martin Whitmarsh joined last year as group chief executive officer of Aston Martin Performance Technologies and has a long pedigree in racing, having been CEO at McLaren before he was forced out by Ron Dennis in 2014.
In a statement, Aston Martin said: “We would like to thank [Otmar] 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.”
Szafnauer’s departure follows several senior staff changes within Aston Martin’s road car division. Designer Miles Nürnberger and chassis guru Matt Becker left recently, heading to Dacia and McLaren respectively.