Ex-McLaren’s Fry to join Renault in 2020

by Tom Cairns
Pat Fry - Manor Racing at the 2016 Formula 1 German Grand Prix - Hockenheimring - Press Conference

Renault F1 Team have confirmed Pat Fry will be joining the French squad next year after his current contractual obligations end.

The fifty-five year old had worked as McLaren F1 Team‘s engineering director earlier this year before leaving in July. However, his gardening leave has prevented him from joining another team before its 2020 car is designed and about to head to the circuit.

Fry had started his Formula 1 career at Renault’s predecessors Benetton in 1987, working as Martin Brundle‘s engineer before heading to McLaren for his first spell in 1993. He was the race engineer of both Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard, contributing to the team’s double-championship year of 1998, Hakkinen’s Drivers’ Championship the following season and their last title to date with Lewis Hamilton in 2008.

He had also took on the role as chief engineer but only in odd-numbered years, as part of McLaren’s alternating system on the position, designing their cars of 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011. Shortly after, Fry moved to rivals Scuderia Ferrari as their deputy technical director and head of race engineering, which subsequently saw him as technical director but left after the Italian team’s dismal 2014 campaign that saw them end the year winless for the first time since 1993.

His next stint was with Manor Racing as their engineering consultant but his time there ended after the team’s withdrawal following the 2016 season due to financial circumstances. Fry then returned to McLaren in September 2018, of which his second spell would only last for ten months.

Renault’s Executive Director Marcin Budkowski believes that Fry’s experience of over three decades will be valuable to the team’s progress.

“I am delighted to be able to work with Pat again. His arrival is yet another step as we build and improve our team structure. Pat’s experience, talent and determination will be additional assets as we continue our progress,” Budkowski said.

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