Andretti signs former F1 tech chief Pat Symonds as consultant

Andretti signs former F1 tech chief Pat Symonds as engineering consultant

Andretti has brought onboard the man behind Formula 1’s 2026 technical regulations as an engineering consultant as the team bids to make an entry into the sport.

Andretti Global has confirmed the hiring of former Formula 1 Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds in a major move towards the team’s F1 entry bid.

The 70-year-old Symonds has been named Andretti’s executive engineering consultant and will begin working on the project after his undisclosed gardening leave concludes.

This comes after news broke on Tuesday that Symonds had departed Formula 1 after seven years, having contributed significantly to the development of the 2022 regulation changes and the switch to ground effect cars. He also worked on the next rules set, due for introduction in 2026, when F1 will change its power unit formula for the first time since 2014.

As he approaches his 71st birthday in June, Symonds—who has aided Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso in capturing World Championships with Benetton and Renault throughout his remarkable career—was anticipated to retire from Formula 1.

Symonds arrived in F1 with the Toleman team when it entered the series in 1981, and remained there for almost three decades. However, he was banned from the sport following the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix ‘Crashgate’ controversy, but his ban was later reversed and he made a return to F1 in 2011 with the Marussia team.

There he worked with Graeme Lowden who has since joined Andretti before moving to Williams two years later, where he stayed until the end of 2016. The former head of tech has been a member of the Formula One tech team since 2017.

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Pat to the Andretti family,” Andretti Global Chairman and chief executive Michael Andretti said. “Pat’s keen understanding of aerodynamics, vehicle dynamics and Formula 1 power units will be instrumental as we continue to build a competitive team.

“I believe his expertise has been pivotal in shaping the narrative of Formula 1 and his vote of confidence in joining our effort speaks volumes. I’m really happy with this next step as our work continues at pace.”

Symonds will join Andretti’s growing team at its new Silverstone base once he is free to join them. He will be reunited with Nick Chester, Andretti’s technical director, whom he worked with during his long stint at the team known as Benetton and Renault, which now competes as Alpine.

“I have had the pleasure to work with Pat in the past and he has a wealth of knowledge we can draw upon,” Chester said. “Pat will bring expertise across technical areas and team operations in his role as Executive Engineering Consultant that will help us develop the team.”

His signing is intriguing for an Andretti squad that has not yet received approval to enter the series. This comes after F1 officially rejected Andretti’s bid in January after conducting a thorough analysis, stating that the team had not demonstrated that it would be competitive or that it would bring enough value to offset the costs of adding it alongside the existing ten teams.

Even so, Andretti had received an approval from the FIA, the body that governs F1.

Despite F1’s rejection, Andretti has persisted in publicly advancing and expanding their program. The outfit is partnered with General Motors, specifically its Cadillac brand, and has claimed it will run bespoke Cadillac power units from 2028 onward although it wants to enter in 2026 as a customer team.

Additionally, it has been lobbying the Congress in its nation of origin, the United States. According to American media, a bipartisan group of senators has now followed up on a letter addressed by the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to F1 and its owner Liberty, with the goal of bringing up the issue with the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division.

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