Andretti issue blow to F1 with new technical chief

Andretti has confirmed the signing of former Formula 1 technical director Pat Symonds, whose departure from the parent organization was revealed earlier today.

He will join Andretti at its new base at Silverstone as executive engineering consultant, following a period of gardening sabbatical.

Despite approaching his 71st birthday, Symonds will join Andretti after a seven-year career in Formula One. Symonds joined F1 in 2017 after spells with Virgin and Williams.

His Grand Prix career began at Toleman which later became Benetton. Symonds played a key role in Michael Schumacher's two championship wins with the team in 1994 and 1995.

Symonds is understood to have left Renault after discovering the Enstone-based company's actions at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, known as “Crashgate”.

“We couldn't be more excited to welcome Pat to the Andretti family,” said Michael Andretti, Chairman and CEO of Andretti Global.

“Pat’s deep understanding of aerodynamics, vehicle dynamics and power units in Formula One will be instrumental as we continue to build a competitive team.

“I believe his expertise has been pivotal in shaping the Formula 1 story and his vote of confidence in joining our efforts speaks volumes. I'm really excited about this next step as our work continues at a rapid pace.”

Andretti is pressing

Andretti's takeover of the Symonds service is the latest move to convince F1 to let them enter the 2026 season.

Earlier this year, the FIA ​​gave Andretti permission to join the sport as an 11th team, but Formula 1 – which has the final say – rejected the all-American team.

The American team has been pressing ahead with its plans despite being rejected by F1 and officially opened a new Silverstone base earlier this year.

Andretti also received support from US Congressmen, who questioned Formula One's motives behind its rejection from the grid.

Andretti's technical director, Nick Chester, has worked with Simmonds in the past at Renault, and values ​​the experience the veteran F1 driver will bring.

“I've had the pleasure of working with Pat in the past, and he has a wealth of knowledge that we can rely on,” Chester said.

“Pat will bring expertise in technical areas and team operations through his role as executive engineering consultant which will help us grow the team.”


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