Former McLaren chief joins Ainslie’s Cup challenge

Former McLaren Formula One team principal Martin Whitmarsh has been appointed chief executive of Ben Ainslie Racing as it prepares to challenge for the 35th Americas Cup.

Whitmarsh was ousted from McLaren last year, following the return of chairman Ron Dennis to a frontline role and a disappointing run of results. He had worked at the team in a series of senior roles since 1989.

Whitmarsh will join Ben Ainslie Racing in April, as the team completes its new headquarters in Portsmouth. He will work alongside Olympic sailing champion Ainslie, ahead of this year's America's Cup World Series events and the next Cup, in Bermuda, in 2017.

"After 25 years at McLaren it's great to be able to turn my energies and experience to such an exciting sporting and technical challenge," Whitmarsh said.

"McLaren developed into a multifaceted business, and I hope that my experience will help BAR in its aspiration for a sustainable business model, along with the clear goal of winning the America's Cup and bringing it back to British waters."

Ainslie added: "I'm delighted that Martin is joining us. When we first started to put together the plan for BAR, McLaren were one of the aspirations. So it's particularly appropriate to have one of the original architects of that model as our new CEO.

"Martin came highly recommended by many authoritative figures in the motorsport industry, and already has good relationships with several of our key partners, particularly the head of Red Bull Advanced Technologies, Adrian Newey."