Renault has confirmed that Pat Fry will start work with the team next week as a direct replacement for former chassis technical director Nick Chester.
Fry’s arrival was announced in November, but Renault did not specify the role he would take on once he had completed his contractual requirements at McLaren. In the time since, the team has confirmed Cherster’s departure after nearly 20 years at Enstone, following a slip from fourth to fifth in the constructors’ championship last season.
It has now been confirmed that Fry will take on the position that Chester has vacated ,and will start work in the middle of next week ahead of the new F1 season.
“Pat Fry will start with the team as technical director (chassis) on 5th February 2020,” a team spokesperson said. “He will attend the team’s season opener on the 12th February in Paris.”
Renault’s launch comes exactly one week before the start of pre-season testing in Barcelona on February 19.
Fry’s arrival is part of a major restructuring of the technical department at Renault this winter, with Dirk de Beer having also been recruited as chief aerodynamicist. Fry started his F1 career at Benetton before joining McLaren, spending nearly two decades with the team before joining Ferrari as director of chassis.
After leaving Maranello in 2014, Fry had a spell as an engineering consultant at Manor and then had a hand in McLaren’s recovery last year in the role of engineering director, while the team waited for technical director James Key to finish his gardening leave at Toro Rosso.
Although the 55-year-old won’t have been able to influence the initial 2020 car, he will have the potential to carry out a similar role to the one he did at McLaren in guiding its in-season development, as well as focusing on the new technical regulations in 2021.