Aston Martin Cognizant F1 team is at risk of losing another key figurehead on the technical team and a major title sponsor.
Otmar Szafnauer, Aston Martin’s team principal, announced his departure earlier this week. Since then, speculation has swirled regarding a prospective move to Alpine.
This move might have cost Aston Martin not just their team principal, but also their present Technical Head, Andrew Green, less than three months before pre-season testing begins in Bahrain.
Since they raced as Force India under separate ownership, Szafnauer has worked for Aston Martin. BWT arrived in 2017 alongside Force India, forcing the mechanics to develop a pink car for the team.
According to the French publication Auto Journal Mag, this sponsor may be following in Szafnauer’s footsteps to Alpine.Since Lawrence Stroll took over the Formula One team, BWT has been the main title sponsor, although the partnership has changed after rebranding with Aston Martin for 2021.
The car’s color was modified to a metallic green, which no longer complemented BWT. Furthermore, Cognizant was named as the principal sponsor, giving BWT an even bigger disadvantage being the team’s main sponsor.
Nothing has been confirmed yet about the fallout, but BWT has been vocal about their dissatisfaction with such decisions throughout the season. In 2021, CEO Andreas Weissenbacher told Austrian media Speedweek that he knew Lawrence Stroll recognized how this harmed BWT and its CEO.
“If the Aston Martin was pink, title sponsor Cognizant would also be happier because the recognition value would be much higher,” Weissenbacher said.
“Business-wise, it was wrong. Historically, the British racing green is certainly understandable for many, but not for me. The Aston Martin doesn’t stand out on TV.”
“The pink colour has not only become our trademark but has also acquired a certain elegance. The biggest dissapointment is that I couldn’t convince Lawrence Stroll to pink the Aston Martin,” the BWT CEO continued.
“Not out of egotism, but out of pure rationality, because a pink car simply stands out more and has a much greater advertising effect.”