According to reports in the Italian media, former McLaren chief engineer Pat Fry has shunned the advances of Mercedes Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing, Force India F1 and Scuderia Toro Rosso to join the Woking-based outfit's arch-rival Ferrari in 2011.

Following almost two decades' service - and whilst he was in charge of the design of next season's car - the highly-rated Fry left McLaren earlier this year, and it was rumoured at the time that the Englishman was in demand at a number of other teams, with the smart money looking to be on a move to Mercedes.

However, it now appears the 46-year-old is in fact Maranello-bound, with Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport claiming that he has agreed terms with the Scuderia to fulfil an undisclosed role - though no confirmation has been forthcoming from either Ferrari or McLaren.

"I think whenever somebody of Pat's calibre leaves the team it's sad," McLaren Racing managing director Jonathan Neale said last month. "We like Pat very much and he's a fine engineer, but people have their lives to lead and want to do other things.

"It doesn't give me any immediate concern for the performance of the team or what we do for next year's car at all, because we're still a team that has strength-in-depth and we're committed to maintaining that. Yes, it's regrettable, but Pat has to move on and do other things with his life so we'll carry on internally as you would expect."