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Symonds being lined up for F1 return – with Williams

21 May 2010

'Singapore-gate' protagonist Pat Symonds could be set for a swift return to F1 with speculation suggesting the Englishman is being lined up for a consultancy role at Williams, whilst namesake and ex-McLaren chief engineer Pat Fry is understood to be in demand at as many as four teams.

Symonds was banned from the grand prix paddock for five years for having admitted to collusion in one of the most scandalous episodes of cheating in sporting memory in Singapore in 2008. Whilst that expulsion was later overturned on appeal by the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris at the beginning of this year, the 56-year-old subsequently reached an out-of-court settlement with the FIA that averted the sport's governing body challenging the French High Court ruling.

Under that agreement, Symonds – like co-conspirator Flavio Briatore – is barred from any direct operational involvement in F1 until the beginning of 2013, but that does not cover consultancy work, which is where former multiple world champions Williams enter the picture. Authoritative Italian magazine Autosprint claims the Grove-based outfit is keen to secure the ex-Renault F1 executive director of engineering's services and renowned technical expertise to put towards its 2011 challenger.

Fry, meanwhile, is currently being linked with F1 2010 pace-setters Red Bull Racing, Force India and Scuderia Toro Rosso after recently leaving McLaren following almost two decades spent at Woking – but the smart money is on the 46-year-old winding up under the wing of Ross Brawn at Mercedes Grand Prix.


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