Andretti Cadillac signs F1 veteran Pat Symonds as they ramp up plans to try and join the championship

Photo Credit: Williams Racing
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Andretti Cadillac has announced the signing of Pat Symonds, former Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of Formula 1, as they intensify their efforts to join the F1 grid. 

Symonds is joining as an Executive Engineering Consultant for the American team, bringing decades of experience with him.

No stranger to championship success, Symonds played a crucial role in F1 icon Michael Schumacher’s title wins with Benetton and Fernando Alonso’s with Renault. 

In recent years, during his seven-year role as F1’s CTO, he was instrumental in shaping the sport’s technical regulations.

Symonds’ decision to join Andretti Cadillac comes after he helped draft the 2022 and 2026 F1 technical regulations. With the chassis rules for 2026 nearly finalised, Symonds claimed that the timing was right to embark on a new challenge following a period of gardening leave.

Michael Andretti, CEO of Andretti Global, expressed his excitement about Symonds’ addition to the team. 

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Pat to the Andretti family.

“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.”

Symonds new move will reunite him with former Benetton and Renault colleague Nick Chester, who now heads up Andretti Cadillac’s engineering team as Technical Director. 

Chester spoke highly of Symonds as the pair played a key role in Fernando Alonso winning the Drivers’ Championships in 2005 and 2006, taking out the Constructors’ Championship in both those campaigns as well.

“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 Cadillac’s bid to join the team in 2025 or 2026 was rejected despite the team’s partnership with General Motors’ Cadillac brand. But, F1 has left the door open for a potential entry for the team in 2028, contingent on General Motors completing its promised F1 power unit.

Andretti Cadillac recently opened a state-of-the-art UK base in Silverstone, employing around 120 staff. 

Michael Andretti remains optimistic about their prospects, emphasising the substantial involvement of General Motors in their project. 

The rejection of Andretti Cadillac’s initial bid has not gone unnoticed in the United States, with Mario Andretti made an appearance on Capitol Hill alongside Congressional inquiries into F1’s decision-making process, asking for answers on why the bid was rejected.