Pat Fry (born 17 March 1964) is a British motorsports engineer. Primarily working in Formula One, he has previously held positions with the McLaren, Ferrari, Manor Racing, and Benetton teams. He is currently with Renault for the 2020 season.
Fry in 2014
Fry was born in Shepperton, Surrey, England. After attempting several engineering courses, he became an apprentice at Thorn EMI in 1981. While at Thorn EMI, he completed a day-release course in electronics at the City of London Polytechnic. He moved onto Thorn's missile programmes, before deciding to leave the company in 1987 to pursue a career in motorsport.
Fry had an interest in building suspension systems for motorbikes in his spare time, and joined the Benetton Formula One team's research and development department in Witney, Oxfordshire, who at the time were working on active suspension systems. He moved to the test team and then to the team's Godalming research and development department. He returned to the test team in 1991, before being made Martin Brundle's race engineer in 1992.
In 1993, former Benetton colleague Giorgio Ascanelli persuaded Fry to join him at McLaren. His initial position was to work on active suspension systems, and run the McLaren test team, but active suspension systems were banned by the sports governing body before the start of the 1994 season and so Fry moved to an engineering position in the race team. After a season as Mika Häkkinen's race engineer in 1995, he returned to the McLaren test team in 1996 despite rumours linking him with a move to Ferrari. He renewed his contract with McLaren in 1997 to become David Coulthard's race engineer, a role he held for four years. He moved to a tactical coordinating role in 2001, overseeing both the team's race cars. In 2002 he was promoted to the role of Chief Engineer of Race Development, and was responsible for the MP4-20 (Autosport's 2005 Racing Car Of The Year), MP4-22 (Autosport's 2007 Racing Car Of The Year) and MP4-24 chassis.
Following the 14 May 2010 announcement of his departure from McLaren, came an announcement on 22 June that Fry was to join the Ferrari team as assistant technical director from 1 July. On 4 January 2011 Ferrari announced that Fry had replaced Chris Dyer as head of race track engineering (while retaining his assistant technical director position under Aldo Costa). The change was made following a tactical error in the final race of the 2010 season which cost Fernando Alonso a chance at the title. On 24 May 2011, Aldo Costa was moved to an undefined position within the team and Fry was given the job as director of chassis, with the position of technical director being removed outright. Restructuring of Ferrari management made Fry's position one of three—the others being production director (filled by Corrado Lanzone) and electronics director (filled by Luca Marmorini)--to report directly to team boss Domenicali, who assumed the duties (if not the title) of technical director.
On 23 July 2013 Ferrari announced that Lotus technical director James Allison would take over as chassis technical director as of 1 September; Fry will remain with Ferrari as director of engineering (a newly created position) and continue to report directly to Domenicali alongside Allison and chief designer Nikolas Tombazis. Ferrari said Fry would leave the team in a restructuring announced 16 December 2014.
Manor Racing (2016–2017)Edit
On 4 September 2018 McLaren announced Fry would join the team as engineering director in a temporary capacity, while awaiting the arrival of full-time technical director James Key from gardening leave at Toro Rosso. Fry lead the team in the process of developing the 2019 car. In July 2019 it was reported Fry had gone on gardening leave at the culmination of his temporary assignment.
On 2 November 2019, the Renault F1 Team announced that Fry will join the team for the 2020 season.
On 20 April 2002, Fry married Kate Habershon, a food editor and stylist who had worked in motorsport catering.
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- Barretto, Lawrence (25 January 2016). "Ex-Ferrari F1 engineering director Pat Fry to Manor as consultant". autosport.com. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
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- "McLaren's engineering director Pat Fry set to leave team". www.motorsport.com. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
- "Formula 1 - Press release - Renault F1 Team confirms Pat Fry will join Enstone in 2020 - renaultsport.com". Renault Sport. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
- "Kate's Wedding". Habershons.com. Archived from the original on 25 August 2005. Retrieved 9 July 2008.