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Former long-serving engineer Pat Symonds is set to vacate the position that he’s held since 2017 serving as Formula 1’s Chief Technical Officer, reports have stated.

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Symonds was appointed amid F1’s strive to improve the racing and to utilise his experience in formulating plans for the current ground effect cars introduced in 2022. The Briton, 70, also had an active role in the impending regulation change arriving in 2026, which has seen active aero emerge as a viable option on the next-gen cars. But with the revised chassis rules scheduled to be published next month, Symonds is reported to have decided now as the correct time to depart from his F1 position.

According to Autosport, Symonds has now been placed on gardening leave, heightening suspicions that he could prop up elsewhere in the paddock in the near future.

Symonds began working in F1 back in the 1980s with Toleman and he was in place across its transition into Benetton as Michael Schumacher won successive titles. However, Symonds and then Renault Team Principal Flavio Briatore were ousted and banned for their involvement in fixing Fernando Alonso’s Singapore win in 2008. But Symonds’ ban was overturned at a tribunal and he returned to F1 to be a consultant to the Virgin team in 2011 before becoming Williams’ technical chief in 2013.