Pat Symonds comments on new teams joining F1 resurface after big Andretti move

Jamie Woodhouse
Former Formula 1 chief technical officer Pat Symonds at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Former Formula 1 chief technical officer Pat Symonds.

Intriguing comments from former Formula 1 chief technical officer Pat Symonds, where he spoke positively about expanding the grid, have come back to light after his shock Andretti move.

Andretti, working in partnership with American automotive giant General Motors, are pressing on in their efforts to overturn Formula 1’s rejection and secure their place on the grid. The opening of a new base at Silverstone was a fresh statement of intent, while another has now been made.

New Andretti recruit Pat Symonds feels ‘no harm in having more cars’

Having played a key role in the creation of Formula 1’s new regulations which arrived in 2022, it was confirmed on Tuesday that Andretti had acquired Symonds’ services. He is set to begin work at Silverstone following the completion of his gardening leave period.

Formula 1 has been cold on the idea of adding an 11th team, though back at the 2023 Autosport International show, Symonds had expressed his support for expanding the grid, should that team be a “quality” addition. Andretti has received such endorsement via his decision to sign.

“There is no harm in having more cars, providing their quality,” he had said.

“The sports is a pedigree success story.”

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Speaking in a recent exclusive interview with PlanetF1.com’s Thomas Maher, 1978 World Champion Mario Andretti gave an update on the team’s efforts to secure entry onto the F1 grid, confirming that they are “working feverishly” towards satisfying all the criteria put in front of them.

He had also teased that “interesting individuals” were on standby waiting for F1 approval, Symonds certainly representing a major coup who did not even need that green light to officially join.

“Well, on all fronts, everything is progressing,” Mario Andretti exclusively told PlanetF1.com.

“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.”

You can read the full extended interview with Mario Andretti below.

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