(born 13 August 1964 in Romania
) is the incoming Chief Operating Officer of Force India
F1 team for 2010 Formula One season
He was formerly the Vice President of Honda Racing Developments
and a member of the Management Board of the Honda F1
team.He was born in Romania, but moved to Detroit when he was seven years old.
He received a Masters Degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Detroit
, and joined the Ford Motor Company
in 1986. While working for Ford he attended the Jim Russell Racing Driver School
and started racing in Formula Ford
in 1991. In 1993 he was appointed Programmes Manager for Ford in the U.S.
In this role, he met Adrian Reynard
who asked him to become Operations Director at British American Racing
in Formula One
in 1998. After three years at BAR, he was recruited by Bobby Rahal
in 2001 to be Chief Operating Officer at Jaguar Racing
, but a week before he was supposed to start Rahal was fired and Szafnauer was not needed any more. After several months of unemployment he was hired by Honda, who had made a comeback to Formula 1, to help its engineers.
After leaving Honda in 2008, he founded Soft Pauer
, which released the official Formula One Timing and Track Positioning Application
on the iPhone in June 2009, before joining Force India on November 2, 2009.