F1 Rumor: Formula One CTO Pat Symonds Set to Leave Role

Pat Symonds is set to leave his position as CTO of Formula 1, marking the end of a significant era in F1's technological development.
May 4, 2024; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen (1) lead the field
May 4, 2024; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen (1) lead the field / Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report from Autosport, Pat Symonds, the Chief Technical Officer of Formula 1, is stepping down from his position. His departure is aligned with the forthcoming publication of revised chassis regulations.

Under Symonds' guidance, Formula 1 underwent some of its most profound changes in recent history. Notably, he was at the forefront of the development of the ground effect vehicles that debuted in the 2022 season, aimed at enhancing racing dynamics and competition. This initiative marked a significant shift in Formula 1's approach to vehicle design, emphasizing aerodynamics that allow closer racing and more overtaking opportunities.

His contributions did not stop there; Symonds was also deeply involved in formulating the 2026 regulation changes. These forthcoming adjustments include the implementation of active aerodynamics, set to revolutionize the sport further by improving the cars' adaptability to different racing conditions.

His decision to step down coincides with the updates to the chassis rules, suggesting a well-timed departure that allows for new leadership amidst significant regulatory changes. Although officially reported as being placed on gardening leave, this transition period marks the end of an era for Symonds.

Speaking about the 2026 regulations last month, Symonds commented, as quoted by GP Blog:

"We want people to come to watch a race and say: 'wow, gosh, look what they're doing, sustainable fuel. Didn't even know you could do that. Thought you had to dig it out of the ground. They're managing to power the whole paddock sustainably. Wow, that's impressive, isn't it?' I think that these sort of things are really important.

"We do want to reduce the downforce on the cars. Part of the reason why the cars are so heavy is because they're having to deal with so much load. So they'll slide a little bit more. I think what it will do is it will put a little bit more emphasis on the driver. As we were saying earlier, I think that's an important thing. It's the drivers who are the heroes. They're the supermen that we want to promote. So, yeah, I think things are going in the right direction there."

Lydia Mee


Lydia is the lead editor of F1 editorial. After following the sport for several years, she was finally able to attend the British Grand Prix in person in 2017. Since then, she's been addicted to not only the racing, but the atmosphere the fans bring to each event. She's a strong advocate for women in motorsport and a more diverse industry.