Martin Whitmarsh has revealed that he will not stand for re-election as Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) chairman.
The McLaren team principal has held the role for nearly three years having replaced Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo following the 2009 season. Since then, Red Bull, Ferrari, Toro Rosso and Sauber have all left FOTA, but having ensured the association continued despite those losses Whitmarsh has now told Autosport that he doesn’t intend to stay on as chairman.
“I’m never going to volunteer for it,” Whitmarsh said. “I think it’s probably healthy, I suppose it’s three years or whatever, 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.”
With just under half of the 2012 season still to run, Whitmarsh insisted that he had not given thought to who could take over the position.
“I think it depends. I mean, it’s a long way away. 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.”
When the names of Ross Brawn and Eric Boullier were suggested as potential successors, Whitmarsh said: “I’d support either of those candidates.”
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