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Formula 1: Former Mercedes engine chief Andy Cowell to join Aston Martin

Andy Cowell celebrates alongside Lewis Hamilton in 2016

Former Mercedes Formula 1 engine chief Andy Cowell is to join Aston Martin as their new group chief executive officer.

The 55-year-old Briton masterminded the production of the engine with which Mercedes became the most successful team in Formula 1 history from 2014-21.

The role puts Cowell in overall charge of the Aston Martin F1 team under owner Lawrence Stroll.

Cowell is expected to be joined at Aston Martin by Ferrari chassis technical director Enrico Cardile.

A high-level source in F1 has told BBC Sport that Cardile has already signed a contract to join Aston Martin, but the team have refused to confirm his move.

Cowell, whose new role was announced officially on Tuesday, will replace Martin Whitmarsh as Aston Martin CEO from 1 October.

Whitmarsh, 66, a former chief executive officer and team principal of McLaren, will hand over his responsibilities before the end of the year, an Aston Martin statement said.

Cowell will be charged with making the team a success as it enters a new era with engine partner Honda from 2026, when F1 is introducing new chassis and power-unit regulations.

Stroll said: “I am delighted to welcome Andy to our team at a crucial time.

“We are on track to become a world championship winning team. Andy has my full backing and will have every resource available to win.”

Cowell said it was an “exciting time” to be going Aston Martin following the completion of the team’s new factory at Silverstone, which has a new wind-tunnel coming on stream later this year, and the start of the Honda era.

Whitmarsh has a long relationship with Cowell through their shared history when Mercedes were McLaren’s works partner in the early 2000s.

Whitmarsh said: “I have known Andy for many years and brought him to Mercedes High-Performance Powertrains in 2004, where he became managing director between 2013 and 2020, achieving huge success in the business and sport.

“He will be an incredible asset to Aston Martin and will make a significant contribution to the execution of our strategy going forward.

“Andy’s arrival in October and the completion of the AMR Technology Campus will allow me to step away and focus on other projects in my life, knowing that the foundations have been established with an impressive team, inspiring vision and advanced facilities to achieve success in F1.”

On the subject of Cardile, an Aston Martin spokesperson said: “The Aston Martin F1 team is a very appealing project with Lawrence Stroll’s vision, a state of the art new Technology Campus and exciting partnerships.

“Many high-profile individuals across all areas of the team are linked to the project but we don’t have anything to announce.”

Aston Martin leapt from the midfield to be regular podium contenders at the start of 2023 but have suffered a slump this year.

After a relatively strong start to 2024, with several top-six qualifying positions for lead driver Fernando Alonso, they have been struggling to make it into the top 10 in recent races and are fifth in the constructors’ championship after 11 of 24 races.

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