Ex-McLaren chief engineer Pat Fry will join arch-rivals Ferrari from next month, it was revealed today.
Fry left McLaren last month as part of a shake-up in the team and has since been on “gardening leave”. His move to Ferrari will be seen as an upward move, although it is thought he will not replace incumbent Ferrari technical boss Aldo Costa.
McLaren team principal Martin Whitnarsh reflected last month that Fry’s departure would not have a destabilising effect on the British team.
“Pat’s been with the company for about 18 years, so he’s made a great contribution to the team over a number of years.”
“I think it was probably good for him, the right decision for him to take a bit of a break, take a breather. I think he’s worked very hard for the team for a number of years.
“Within our team, then, I think we’ve got quite a bit of a talent and depth, so in these situations it’s a great opportunity for someone younger, maybe hungrier, to come along and replace all of us.
“We’re all replaceable. I think the process will be the same but we’re manned with fresh new engineers.”
Fry’s arrival at the Italian team raises the spectre of transferral of ideas between teams, although the seriousness of using the intellectual property rights of another team was highlighted by McLaren’s 2007 $100m fine.