Otmar Szafnauer is Force India COO

MUMBAI: The Force India Formula One Team’s chairman and team principal Dr Vijay Mallya confirmed at its Silverstone headquarters that Otmar Szafnauer has been appointed to the position of Force India COO.

Szafnauer will take over the role from Simon Roberts, who has now completed his one year secondment from McLaren Applied Technologies.

Otmar has a wealth of Formula One experience having held, amongst other senior motorsport management positions, director of strategy and business planning for Honda Racing F1 Team and operations director at British American Racing.

He will now take over Roberts’ direct responsibilities, including overseeing factory and trackside operations and will ensure maximum productivity from all Force India in-house departments.

Furthermore, he will liase with McLaren Applied Technologies and Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines to strengthen the existing relationship.

Roberts, meanwhile, will return to McLaren Applied Technologies to take up a senior management role and will continue his involvement with Force India from the other side of the partnership. Roberts will remain in his current position until 2 November.

Dr Mallya commented, "We are sad to see Simon go as he has been a crucial linchpin in the transition to the McLaren and Mercedes drivetrain 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."

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