Symonds joins Andretti's F1 bid as engineering consultant

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Mere hours after it was reported that Pat Symonds had stepped down from his role as Formula 1's chief technical officer, Andretti Global has revealed that it has recruited the veteran F1 engineer.

For seven years, Symonds served as F1's Chief Technical Officer, helping shape the sport's technical landscape with his expertise.

The 70-year-old heavily contributed to Grand Prix racing’s current ground-effect regulations, but also to the sport’s upcoming 2026 overhaul.

With the latter’s rules and chassis platform nearing completion, Symonds decided to step down from F1, a move that had reportedly been planned for some time.

But retirement seems like a distant concept for the British engineer, with Andretti snatching up Symonds as the US outfit’s Executive Engineering Consultant.

Andretti is still patiently awaiting clarification from Formula 1 regarding its bid to join the grid in 2026, after its project was given a resounding green light last October by the FIA.

The American team is pushing forward with its endeavor, establishing a base in the UK at Silverstone Park and recruiting actively F1 staff. Symonds will join Andretti after a period of gardening leave.

This swift recruitment is another bold statement from Andretti.

“We couldn't be more excited to welcome Pat to the Andretti family," commented Michael Andretti. "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."

At Andretti, Symonds will reunite with his former Benetton and Renault colleague Nick Chester who joined the prospective F1 effort earlier this year as its technical director.

"I have had the pleasure to work with Pat in the past and he has a wealth of knowledge we can draw upon," said Chester.

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

Formula 1’s refusal – for the time being – to accept Andretti as its eleventh team took a political turn in the US last month, when motorsport legend Mario Andretti took his family’s fight to Capitol Hill.

Several US Congress members, sensing the public's disappointment, fired off a letter to F1 and its American owner, Liberty Media, demanding answers and hinting at potential antitrust violations if Andretti's bid was unfairly rejected.

But the fight isn't confined to strongly worded letters. Several US Senators have taken a bolder step, urging the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to launch a formal investigation into the entire affair.

Adding fuel to the fire, the House's Judiciary Committee has already initiated its own probe. It appears F1 may be facing a multi-pronged challenge from the US government, with the Andretti dream team caught in the crossfire.

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