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  1. #1
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    Mar 2009
    Lonley Planet

    Default Otmar Szafnauer Appointed Force India's New COO

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    The Force India Formula One team has appointed Otmar Szafnauer as its Chief Operating Officer. He will replace Simon Roberts who was on deputation from McLaren-Mercedes.

    The announcement was made by team's chairman and principal Vijay Mallya on Wednesday night in the presence of all staff members and McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh.

    Roberts will return to McLaren Applied Technologies (MAT), but will continue his involvement with the Force India team. Roberts will continue in his current position until Nov 2.

    According to a Force India press release, Szafnauer has held many senior motorsport management positions, the post of director of strategy and business planning for Honda Racing F1 Team from 2006-2008 and operations director at British American Racing from 1998-2001.

    Szafnauer will now take over Simon's direct responsibilities, including overseeing factory and trackside operations and will ensure maximum productivity from all Force India in-house departments. He will also liaise with MAT and Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines to strengthen the existing relationship.

    Mallya said, "Otmar was selected by myself in full consultation with McLaren to replace Simon, who has now completed his secondment with Force India. We are sad to see Simon go as he has been a crucial linchpin in the transition to the McLaren and Mercedes drive-train and his dedication and professional stewardship has led the team to achieving its first-ever podium in F1.

    "However he was always on secondment and we knew we would have to let him return to the McLaren fold. We are confident that Otmar, with his wealth of F1 experience, will be a worthy successor and will continue the strong upward trend we have seen in the last half of the season."

    Szafnauer said, "Force India is a professional outfit that is now achieving competitive and highly promising results. Simon has set a high standard to continue and I am eagerly anticipating getting stuck in to this latest challenge."



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