Getting to know: Otmar Szafnauer

Otmar Szafnauer (born August, 13 1964) is the Chief Executive Officer and Team Principal of the Racing Point Force India Formula One motor racing team.

Szafnuer was born in Romania to an American father of German descent and a Romanian mother,[1] but moved to Detroit when he was seven years old. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Wayne State University in Detroit[2] before completing a master's degree in business and finance from the University of Detroit.[2]

He joined the Ford Motor Company in 1986, appointed Programmes Manager for Ford in the US. While working for Ford he attended the Jim Russell Racing Driver School and started racing in Formula Ford in 1991. He left Ford in 1998 to become Operations Director at British American Racing in Formula One. After unsuccessful discussions with Jaguar Racing, he hired by Honda on its return to Formula one in 2001, rising to Vice President of Honda Racing Developments and a member of the Management Board of the Honda F1 team.[3]. After leaving Honda in 2008,[4] he founded Soft Pauer,[5] which released the official Formula One Timing and Track Positioning Application[6] on the iPhone in June 2009.

Szafnauer joined Force India in October 2009, and has played an integral role in the team's improved performance since his arrival, with the team going on an upward path, finishing seventh in 2010 and sixth in 2011, 2013 and 2014, before breaking into the top five in 2015 and achieving the team-best finish of fourth in 2016 and 2017. Szafnauer's efforts also played an instrumental role in the team securing a long-term agreement to use the Mercedes powertrain from the 2014 season onwards.

In 2013, Szafnauer was inducted into the USF2000 Hall of Fame in recognition of his racing achievements in motorsport over the last twenty years.

COURTESY OF Racing Point Force India Formula One motor racing team