MARCH 10, 2002
The future of Pat Symonds
PAT SYMONDS, the technical director of Benetton Formula between 1996 and 2000, is rumored to be leaving the team at the end of the season - but it is not yet clear where he is going to work instead.
Symonds started working with the team in 1979 when it was known as Toleman and racing in Formula 2. He stayed until 1990 when he spent a year with Reynard, designing an F1 car for the abortive Reynard F1 project of that era, but he then returned to Benetton. After Ross Brawn went off to Ferrari Symonds was appointed technical director of Benetton and he remained in that role until halfway through 2000 when the team hired Mike Gascoyne to take the role. Symonds was moved sideways.
It now seems that he has decided to move on at the end of the year and although he has been talking to Jordan, there are also possibilities that he might go to Ferrari and link up with his teammates Michael Schumacher, Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne, this being the group that were at Benetton in 1994 and 1995. Schumacher tried hard to lure Symonds to Maranello in 1996 but he decided not to go.
Forty-nine-year-old Symonds is highly-rated as an engineer and strategist and is also a top research and development engineer.
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