Aston Martin has poached a key figure from rival British make McLaren. Chris Goodwin will join Aston Martin as its new expert high-performance test driver, the brand announced on Wednesday.
Goodwin most recently served as McLaren's chief test driver and his recruitment comes as Aston Martin plans for intensive product development. The brand called Goodwin's hiring part of "phase one." However, Goodwin wasn't the only high-profile figure Aston Martin snagged. Simone Rizzuto will also join the brand. Rizzuto previously worked for Maserati and Alfa Romeo as a vehicle performance testing and integration expert. He will take the title of chief engineer for vehicle dynamics.
The two new hires are now part of a lengthy list of poached engineers. In the past few years, the brand has brought on other high-profile engineers from Lotus and Maserati. Aston Martin named two future vehicles as centerpieces to the hiring spree, the DBX SUV and the Valkyrie hypercar, which, in case you missed it, could race at Le Mans if regulations shape up in the brand's favor. A slew of electrified powertrains is also in development at the company. All-electric and hybrid powertrains are currently a focus.
The strategic vision is coming into clarity under CEO Andy Palmer. The brand plans for seven cars total over seven years as part of its "Second Century Plan," and aims to become profitable, something that has eluded the British brand over is 100-plus year history. Rumors of an initial public offering have also swirled once again. Aston Martin's current owners, Italy’s Investindustrial and Kuwait’s Adeem Investment and The Investment Dar, have reportedly hired a financial firm to oversee an IPO or an all-out sale.