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F1 Chief Technical Officer to join Andretti Cadillac

Shock coup shows Andretti's push to join F1 is far from over

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Andretti has announced that F1 Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds will join its F1 programme.

F1 Chief Technical Officer joins Andretti Cadillac (Image Credit: PlanetF1)
F1 Chief Technical Officer joins Andretti Cadillac (Image Credit: PlanetF1)

In a shock move set to shake up the F1 world, Symonds will step down from his role as F1’s Chief Technical Officer to take up a new position as Executive Engineering Consultant for the Andretti F1 project. His start date has yet to be revealed.

The resignation of Symonds will once again question the rejection of Andretti’s application to join F1 in 2025. Andretti intended to use customer power units before using a works Cadillac badged engine from General Motors.

Part of the reason behind Andretti’s rejection was F1’s concerns that Andretti may be unable to field a competitive car. Given that its chief technical officer has joined the operation, that decision will now be under the spotlight. As reported by the BBC, F1 has declined to comment on the news.

Delight for Andretti

Andretti’s Global Chief Executive Officer, Michael Andretti, could not hide his delight in his new acquisition. In a statement, he said Symonds choosing to join show confidence as he continues to push to join the grid:

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Pat to the Andretti family. Pat’s keen understanding of aerodynamics, vehicle dynamics and F1 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 F1 and his vote of confidence in joining our effort speaks volumes.”

Andretti’s F1 technical director, Nick Chester, was also glowing in welcoming Symonds to the team. He reiterated the wealth of experience Symonds will bring and the opportunities it presented:

“I have had the pleasure to work with Pat in the past and he has a wealth of knowledge we can draw upon. He will bring expertise across technical areas and team operations that will help us develop the team.”

How will this impact F1?

Pat Symonds’s joining Andretti will have consequences for the sport. The legendary F1 engineer has enjoyed a career spanning over forty years, working for the likes of Toleman, Benetton, Renault, and Williams. He was briefly banned from F1 in 2009 for his role in the now-infamous Crashgate scandal at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. 

However, in recent years, he has been integral to the development of F1’s technical regulations. He had a significant role in finalising the current ground effect cars from 2022.

Crucially, though, he is working on the new technical regulations for 2026. Andretti’s poaching him now allows time for the fledgling outfit to fully utilise Symonds’s expertise once his gardening leave from F1 has ended.

The news that Symonds will join Andretti follows the news that six United States Senators have asked the US Department of Justice to investigate F1’s decision to reject Andretti’s F1 bid.

 

Feature Image Credit: @FastestPitStop on X

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