Aston Martin poaches McLaren's chief test driver

Published: 20 December 2017

► Chris Goodwin joins Aston
► Former McLaren test driver
► Flurry of appointments at Gaydon 

Ace industry test driver Chris Goodwin is jumping ship from McLaren Automotive to Aston Martin. The veteran racer and dynamics expert has been responsible for making the new generation of McLaren supercars drive as well as they do – and now Gaydon is hoping he’ll do the same for them.

His race credentials make him well placed to finish the quality testing on the new Valkyrie hypercar (below); it’s expected that the first prototypes will be testing by the third quarter of 2018.

Goodwin’s new job title? The rather grandiose-sounding Expert High Performance Test Driver. For more strange job titles in the car industry, check out our guide here.

The Aston Martin Valkyrie

Goodwin’s knowledge of mid-engined sports car development signals that Aston is proposing more thoroughbred supercars; it has already confirmed a ‘yet-to-be-named series production mid-engined supercar’ and we can safely predict that McLaren’s Sports Series and Super Series cars will be closely benchmarked.

More senior appointments at Aston Martin

Goodwin is not alone in this week’s new appointments. In a second high-profile poach, Aston Martin has appointed Simone Rizzuto (below right) as chief engineer, vehicle dynamics. He previously worked at Maserati and Alfa Romeo.

They will be working alongside Matt Becker, the ex-Lotus handling guru, to ensure that future Astons look, feel and drive as they should.

Chris Goodwin (left) and Simone Rizzuto (right): two high-profile recruits for Aston Martin

Aston Martin has issued two new portraits of the newly appointed executives: Goodwin (above left) and Rizzuto (above right). 

Both men will be busy: Aston is busy developing the Valkyrie, the DBX crossover and a new generation of sports cars, spearheaded by the new DB11 and upcoming Vantage ranges.

All our Aston Martin reviews

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet