Andretti announce major signing as Pat Symonds leaves F1 role

Oliver Harden
Andretti Global and Cadillac logo lockup

Andretti Global and Cadillac saw their bid to enter F1 rejected.

Andretti have confirmed the appointment of former Formula 1 chief technical officer Pat Symonds in a major coup for the team’s F1 entry plans.

It emerged on Tuesday that Symonds had left Formula 1 after seven years, having played an influential role in the formation of the sport’s 2022 rule changes and the move to ground effect cars.

Andretti confirm Pat Symonds signing from F1

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

Symonds, who has helped Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso to World Championship success with Benetton and Renault over the course of his illustrious career, had been expected to call time on his involvement in Formula 1 as he nears his 71st birthday in June.

In a huge bombshell, however, Andretti have confirmed the capture of Symonds, who will begin work at the budding team’s new facility at Silverstone upon the completion of his period of gardening leave at Formula One Management.

Andretti Global Chairman and chief executive Michael Andretti said: “We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Pat to the Andretti family.

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“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.”

Andretti-Cadillac technical director Nick Chester added: “I have had the pleasure to work with Pat in the past and he has a wealth of knowledge we can draw upon.

“Pat will bring expertise across technical areas and team operations in his role as Executive Engineering Consultant that will help us develop the team.”

Andretti have pressed on with plans to join the F1 grid despite facing opposition from the existing teams and having a formal application rejected by the sport’s commercial rights holders in January.

The team opened a UK base at Silverstone, the home of the British Grand Prix, in April, revealing that they had commenced the hiring process for as many as 60 roles.

In an exclusive interview with PlanetF1.com’s Thomas Maher last month, 1978 World Champion Mario Andretti revealed the team have fresh optimism over securing a place on the grid.

He said: “On all fronts, everything is progressing. We’ve finally even officially opened up a facility in Silverstone.

“I am beginning to feel optimistic because we’re doing a lot of diligent work. We’ll just have to come to some conclusion, hopefully soon, but everything is put in front of us and we’re putting in front of whatever is potentially required.

“We’re working feverishly towards satisfying every aspect of it. From there we just keep our fingers crossed.

“We’re working at pace in every aspect that we can to be able to advance the cause because, all along, we’d like to show how serious we are about the project and not just talk but do.

“We have a fair amount of team already together here, and we have some interesting individuals waiting for us to get the 100 per cent green light from Formula 1.

“We’re just trying to show that everything is the way it should be. General Motors is definitely behind all of this and that’s very important to bring in a manufacturer with us that has never been in F1.

“I think the fact that F1 is exposed so prominently in the United States, I think, should play favourably to have a full US team involved. I’m staying positive, absolutely.”

He added: “We’re talking, and reasoning, and it’s the first time we’ve had proper face-to-face [conversation with Formula 1].

“I have reason to be feeling good.”

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