JANUARY 17, 2011
Symonds: I still have a love of F1
Pat Symonds, the man at the centre of the Renault 'Crashgate' scandal with Flavio Briatore, says that he still has a passion for F1 and is keen to get involved once again.
Symonds, who performed the head of engineering role at Renault, was one of the most respected and forthcoming members of the F1 engineering community and has said in the past that he has a number of ambitions left in the sport's top echelon, including a possible role with the governing body, although whether that is still an option remains to be seen.
There is a degree of sympathy for Symonds within F1, with the feeling that he certainly would not have been the motivating force behind the events of Singapore 08, where Nelson Piquet deliberately crashed his car to prompt the Safety Car that facilitated a win for Renault team mate Fernando Alonso. As part of a deal struck with the FIA, Symonds cannot return to the paddock full time until 2013 but has been doing consultancy work as well as forging a journalistic link with the British F1 Racing magazine.
Speaking today at the Autosport International show in Birmingham, England, Symonds said: "There's still lots of things I want to do. I still have a love of F1 because of the engineering. I absolutely have a passion for racing - you cannot keep me away.
"It's certainly not easy to try and get things across because technology is very much part of the DNA of Formula 1 and I think it's very, very important that people understand and appreciate it. There is absolutely no point in having beautiful engineering that you don't tell anybody about, and people don't understand, so I'm trying to broaden that horizon a little bit.
"There are a lot of things that go on in F1 that teams are so secretive about and they ought to be proud of them. For example, the current F1 engine is actually very fuel-efficient but people don't look at it that way. I want people to know about these things and therefore I want to try and explain it in ways that are easily understood.
"We don't want gimmickry and nor do we want a highly complex and intellectual chess game. Not everyone is technically minded, so I want to try and get those things across. But ultimately it has to be simple. Strategy was something I loved but it was getting too complex. I think you really needed to be a mathematician to understand how things were going to pan out."
Symonds has a lifetime's working knowledge of motor sport, first becoming involved in F1 with the Toleman team in 1981.