Ferrari join race to lure Pat Symonds

UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false.' (GMM) Pat Symonds has renewed his denial that he is looking to change teams.

It was reported earlier this week that Renault's highly-respected executive director of engineering, after being courted by Honda and McLaren, may now be the keen target of Ferrari.

But the long-serving Briton insisted at Monaco: ''I see zero reasons to leave my super team.''

While that is about as clear a denial as will ever be found in a grand prix paddock, Symonds' boss, Flavio Briatore, dodged the question about whether he would be renewing his own Renault contract.

''That is not relevant for me at the moment,'' the Italian said.

Briatore added: ''Whatever I do in the future, I need to be doing the best thing now for Renault. That is the priority.''

05/24/06 (GMM) Another team has reportedly joined a hunt to lure Pat Symonds from Renault.

Honda and McLaren were initially thought to be fishing for the highly-experienced engineer, who was part not only of Renault's recent success, but that of Benetton back in the 90s.

Also lauded for his skills relating to race strategy, the Briton – with the title 'executive director of engineering' – is now the target of Ferrari, according to the Stuttgart-based 'Auto Motor Und Sport' magazine.

Symonds' time at his current team stretches back to when it was called Toleman, where he was race engineer to a notable youngster by the name of Ayrton Senna.

He later fulfilled a similar role alongside Michael Schumacher, as the German driver won his first world championships for Benetton.

'Auto Motor Und Sport' also suggests that Ferrari made an offer some months ago for Gerhard Berger, although the Austrian's switch is highly unlikely given that he co-owns the Toro Rosso team.

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