Andretti Global makes key engineering hire in bid to earn a spot in Formula 1

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Mere hours after Formula 1’s chief technical officer said he was leaving after seven years in the role, Andretti Cadillac said it had hired him as its executive engineering consultant.

Pat Symonds is not eligible to begin working for Andretti until his non-compete clause period — called “gardening leave” in the United Kingdom — is completed with Formula One Management. His leave began immediately with Tuesday's announcements.

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Pat to the Andretti family,” said Andretti Global Chairman & CEO 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.”

Andretti called Symonds “a renowned figure in the world of motorsport, revered for his exceptional technical expertise.”

“With a career spanning several decades, Symonds has a depth of experience in Formula One, having worked with some of the sport’s most iconic teams and drivers,” Andretti said of Symonds. “His partnerships with Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso produced 32 race wins, four Drivers’ World Championships and three Constructors’ World Championships.”

Symonds had worked directly for F1 since 2017 and helped shape technical regulations to improve the racing. He contributed to the 2022 new car as well as the creation of the new cars coming for the 2026 season.

Andretti has already been denied a spot on the F1 grid by Formula One Management, which is owned by American company Liberty Media. Despite the exclusion, Andretti is moving forward with General Motors and Cadillac and last month officially unveiled its shop in the U.K.

The team continues to work on building a car — as well as hiring employees — as Andretti continues to negotiate with F1. The parties had an off-site meeting at the Miami Grand Prix earlier this month.


AP auto racing:

Jenna Fryer, The Associated Press