Richard has worked in the motorsport industry since 1979, following qualifying as an automotive mechanic. In the early 80’s he undertook public relations work for Ford and Datsun in the World Rally Championship.
He joined the world of Formula 1 with Williams Grand Prix Engineering in early 1984. Since then he has held the positions of Sponsorship Manager for the McLaren International Formula 1 Team (late 84-88), Commercial Director for the TWR Silk Cut Jaguar Le Mans and Daytona winning Teams, (89-91) and Director of Sponsorship and Marketing for the Williams Formula 1 Team – (92-96).
In 1996 he formed his first company RWA, to provide support and marketing services to a range of motorsport clients. These included Ferrari’s sponsor Asprey (the leading London jewellers), Reynard Racing Cars, the formation team of Formula 1 Team British American Racing (now Honda F1) and latterly Arrows Grand Prix.
Since embarking upon his commercial career in motorsport, West has successfully negotiated commercial sponsorship contracts worth in excess of $165 million dollars with notable companies such as Shell, Rothmans Tobacco, Sanyo Electric Company, SEGA Computer Games, Segafredo Coffee, Repsol YPF, PIAA and Mirage Ceramica in Formula 1, and Green Flag, The AA.Com and Tetrosyl in the British Touring Car Championship which he ran as Series Administrator between 2000 and 2004.
During his motor sport career he has worked with drivers Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Keke Rosberg, Stefan Johansson, Nigel Mansell, the late Ayrton Senna, Martin Brundle, David Coulthard, Heinz Harald Frentzen, Jacques Villeneuve and Michael Schumacher.
In January 2007, he was appointed a Visiting Fellow of Cranfield School of Management.
He is a highly versatile and entertaining speaker. His extensive Formula 1 career and international motor sport business experience offer a compelling range of subject matter and he speaks with knowledge, passion and enthusiasm on the subjects of ‘Leadership’ and building ‘High Performing Business Teams’.
In 2005, West and his co-authors, Professor Mark Jenkins and Ken Pasternak, published ‘Performance at the Limit – Business Lessons from Formula 1 Motor Racing’. The book is a major business work on Formula 1, interviewing 24 of the sport’s leading figures and drawing comparisons from the challenging world of motor racing and applying these learning’s to today business challenges. His addresses often contain a variety of inputs from this unique work.
Richard was recently appointed series consultant and co-presenter for the BBC World series 'Formula for Success' based on 'Performance at the Limit'' The TV series commenced on 1st September 2007. For more information log onto www.bbcworld.com or specifically http://www.bbcworld.com/Pages/ProgrammeMultiFeature.aspx?id=118
As part of his drive to instil competitive processes into businesses today, he also provides ‘The Formula 1 Pit Stop Challenge’ in partnership with the WilliamsF1 motor racing team for a wide range of clients.
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