McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh will quit as FOTA Chairman at the end of the season

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has confirmed that he won’t stand for re-election as chairman of the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) at the end of his current term.

The Englishman has held FOTA’s most senior post since 2009 after he took over from Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo.

While the role was originally created with one-year rotational terms in mind, Whitmarsh has proven so popular in the role that he’s continued to be re-elected at the end of each sitting term.

But he now feels it’s time for someone else to have a go when his term runs out at the end of the current season.

“I’m never going to volunteer for it,” he told AUTOSPORT. “[But] I think it would be quite healthy for someone else to do it now. I think it’s for the teams to decide on that.

“I care about Formula 1, whatever role I’m in. McLaren I think, has been an extraordinarily good citizen, in my opinion, of the sport.

“We [FOTA] have tried to be a galvanising, stabilising force, trying to understand the issues of all the players. Whatever happens, we’ll continue to try and do those things. But I think it would be quite neat for someone else to have a go at it.”

While he stopped of naming any potential successor, he did indicate that he would fully support the nominations of Mercedes and Lotus’ respective team principals, Ross Brawn and Eric Boullier.

“At the moment we’ve got 10 races left and I’ll concentrate on that and on other things. We’ll see what happens, but my recommendation to them will be that someone else does it. It’ll be a good opportunity for them,” he added.

“I’d support either of those candidates [Brawn or Boullier].”

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.