Martin Whitmarsh , the new principal of the Formula One team, McLaren-Mercedes, talks about succeeding Ron Dennis and world champion Lewis Hamilton’s tilt at Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles. By Donald McRae.
Martin Whitmarsh, wearing a sober black suit against a gleaming white backdrop, looks ready to take on one of the most demanding jobs in British sport. As lean and angular in appearance as he is expansive and amiable in character, the new team principal of McLaren-Mercedes is responsible for supplying Lewis Hamilton with a car that must be fast and reliable enough to help him retain his Formula One world championship.
In the face of ferocious competition from Ferrari, still burning with disappointment after losing the 2008 title on the very last corner of the very last race, Whitmarsh rocks coolly in his chair in McLaren’s beautiful racing kingdom in Woking, Surrey. His serenity is underpinned by the knowledge that his role will begin officially on March 1, when Ron Dennis finally steps aside as team leader, and by the confidence he draws from the best driver in the world.