Symonds has sympathy for troubles at Lotus

Pat Symonds with Flavio Briatore in 2009

Pat Symonds with Flavio Briatore in 2009

Williams technical boss Pat Symonds, a former long-time personality at Enstone based F1 team Lotus, says he has sympathy for the struggles that his former colleagues are currently enduring.

Symonds, who returned to Formula 1 with Williams, after serving his ‘crash-gate ban’, dismissed suggestions to the effect thatLotus might have made a wise move in sitting out the Jerez test and learning from their rivals’ tribulations.

“No, absolutely not,” said Symonds, who worked at Enstone throughout its Toleman, Benetton and works Renault guises from the early 80s until forced by his FIA ban to leave F1.

“I don’t think Lotus have done it out of choice,” he told Sky Sports HD at Jerez.

“I think the whole pitlane has some sympathy for their situation,” said Symonds, undoubtedly referring to speculation that Lotus’ financial troubles of 2013 are now affecting their preparations for the new season.

Symonds also said that he thinks that novel ‘twin-pronged’ nose solution of the team’s as yet unlaunched E22 is legal.

“Lotus have been haemorrhaging employees from all departments over the last few months, so I think all of the teams had an idea of where they were going,” he added.

Also speaking at Jerez, Ferrari refugee Felipe Massa hinted that he opted to go to Williams for 2014 because his other main option, Lotus, was “losing people”.

“Lotus…are losing many engineers, and that shows that the situation is not so easy,” the Brazilian, who made his debut in the Mercedes-powered FW36 on Thursday, told Formula 1’s official website.

“Williams is investing – the other team is not investing.” (GMM)

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