Martin Whitmarsh graduated with a degree in engineering before joining the aerospace industry, holding a variety of positions in research and development before running an aerospace structures business. In 1989, he moved to McLaren to lead design operations, becoming managing director of McLaren Racing in 1997.
He has been instrumental in assisting McLaren’s growth and diversification as a group as well as overseeing the F1 operation. In 2004, Martin was appointed chief operating officer of McLaren Group, and at the beginning of the 2009 Formula 1 season he took over as team principal of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and became chief executive officer of McLaren Group.
Under his stewardship the team has continued to grow and prosper, attracting the services of two of the best drivers in Formula 1, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, winning six grands prix during the 2011 season and finishing second in the constructors’ championship.
Graduating from Nottingham University in 1984 with an honours degree in physics, Jonathan Neale began a lengthy career in the commercial and defence aerospace industry. Beginning at Philips Defence Systems, he became a chartered electrical and electronic engineer and went on to lead the advanced development group within the electronic warfare division. He moved to BAE systems in 1991, working as a project design engineer leading major systems projects for commercial aircraft.
Promoted through the company, he became director of operations and support operations at the Manchester and Prestwick Sites and was responsible for aircraft production, customer support and training. He returned to defence systems and aircraft, taking charge of the Hawk Fast Jet Programme as managing director 1999. He gained his MBA during the 1990s and participated in the government cabinet office’s prestigious Top Management Programme working with public and private sector colleagues.
Jonathan joined McLaren Racing as operations director in 2001 to oversee the race team’s operations and engineering processes. He was appointed the company’s managing director in 2004. Jonathan is currently a fellow of the Institute of Directors and occupies a principal role within the organisation, managing overall technical and operational strategy for the whole team.
Director of Design and Development Programmes
Neil Oatley arrived in Formula 1 during an era in which designers also had to turn their hands to practical race engineering. He joined Williams as a draughtsman in 1977, moving on to race-engineer Clay Regazzoni and Carlos Reutemann, and working alongside world champions Keke Rosberg and Nigel Mansell.
He returned to the drawing office as chief designer for the short-lived Haas Lola team before moving to McLaren in 1986, where he played a key role in the creation of a succession of legendary championship-winning cars.
Recently celebrating 25 years at McLaren, Neil’s brief as director of design and development programmes enables him to deploy the experience gleaned through over three decades at the cutting edge of motorsport into the specification, design and build of each new Vodafone McLaren Mercedes car.
Tim Goss entered Formula 1 with Cosworth in 1986 before joining McLaren as a design engineer in 1990. He has held many roles within the team, including stints as chief test team engineer, head of vehicle dynamics and chief engineer powertrain – a role in which he oversaw the introduction of the sport’s first-ever seamless-shift gearbox in 2005.
Outgrowing his role as chief engineer, he was appointed director of engineering in January 2011. He oversees all aspects of car specification, top-level target-setting and priority engineering projects.
In February 2013, Tim was appointed technical director of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.
Graduating from the University of New South Wales in 1993 with a degree in mechanical engineering, Sam Michael travelled to Europe and immediately began his Formula 1 career.
Over the following 18 seasons, initially at Lotus, then Jordan Grand Prix and Williams F1, he worked in and led design, R&D, vehicle dynamics and race engineering departments, as well as achieving director and board-member level at Williams.
He joined Vodafone McLaren Mercedes in November 2011, and is now sporting director. He forms part of our senior technical management team, primarily responsible for race, test and heritage operations and driver programmes.
A rich background in mechanical and automotive engineering – including roles at BMW’s powertrain division – perfectly prepared Simon Roberts for McLaren Racing. Joining the team in 2003 as general manager, he became operations director the following year.
For 2009, he was seconded to the Force India F1 team as chief operating officer but returned to McLaren Racing ahead of the 2010 season.
Commercial & Financial Director
John Cooper qualified as a chartered accountant with Ernst & Young in 1994 before joining Avis Europe as group financial accountant. He quickly progressing through the organisation to hold a number of key financial roles within Avis UK. He soon began working at board level within a newly acquired subsidiary in Greece and held two further overseas roles in Italy and Spain. John was also a member of the team who purchased the Budget Car Rental companies from administration and subsequently became their finance director in 2003.
John joined McLaren Racing as finance director in January 2005 and has subsequently taken on more responsibility, becoming commercial & finance director in 2010.
David Redding took on his first motorsport role in 1988, working in the Benetton Formula 1 team’s gearbox department. In 1995, he became number one mechanic at McLaren, before leaving at the end of 1996 to help set up the fledgling Stewart Grand Prix team.
When he rejoined McLaren in 2000, he moved to the team’s engineering department, working as a systems engineer before becoming assistant race engineer alongside Philip Prew.
After engineering the third car at races, he became more involved in the team’s operational side, and was appointed head of race operations in 2009. He became team manager in 2009 and is also Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ sporting representative within FOTA and on the FIA’s sporting board.
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