Ben Ainslie Racing announced that Martin Whitmarsh of the McLaren Group will be joining the British America’s Cup challenge

Former Formula One chief Martin Whitmarsh will be joining Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) as the team’s CEO.

Previously the CEO of the McLaren Group and team principal of the McLaren F1 team, Whitmarsh will be working alongside Sir Ben Ainslie to bring the America’s Cup home in 2017.

Related articles

With a number of sporting and technical similarities between the America’s Cup and Formula One, BAR thinks Whitmarsh brings the perfect skill set to the team.

Sir Ben Ainslie commented on the announcement, saying: “I’m delighted that Martin is joining us. When we first started to put together the plan for BAR, McLaren were one of the aspirations.

“So it’s particularly appropriate to have one of the original architects of that model as our new CEO.

“Martin came highly recommended by many authoritative figures in the motorsport industry, and already has good relationships with several of our key partners, particularly the head of Red Bull Advanced Technologies Adrian Newey.”

Whitmarsh is set to join the team in April, shortly before they move to their new headquarters at the Camber Dock in Portsmouth

BAR’s new CEO began his passion for engineering on the south coast by studying at Portsmouth University and then starting his career at BAE System’s Hamble facility.

Following this he was promoted to work on advanced composites in Weybridge, rising to manufacturing director before moving to join McLaren in 1989.

Once there, he worked his way up the ranks, finishing up as CEO of McLaren Racing and the McLaren Group.

Whitmarsh said of his latest appointment: “After 25 years at McLaren it’s great to be able to turn my energies and experience to such an exciting sporting and technical challenge.

“McLaren developed into a multifaceted business, and I hope that my experience will help BAR in its aspiration for a sustainable business model, along with the clear goal of winning the America’s Cup and brining it back to British waters.”