JOHN Booth, Marussia Virgin Racing’s team principal and sporting director, has not ruled out drafting in Pat Symonds to their management staff - once he has served his suspension.
Symonds, the former executive director of engineering of Renault, was banned from Formula One with Flavio Britatore over the crashgate race-fixing scandal in 2009.
Having had his five-year suspension overturned in January last year by a French court, Symonds returned to the sport two months ago in a consultancy role with Virgin. He remains banned from being employed within a team until 2013.
But Booth has confirmed the Dinnington-based outfit are interested in bringing in Symonds on a permanent basis following the conclusion of his ban.
“I hope we can sort something out with him,” Rotherham-born Booth told The Star. “His experience and achievements are almost second to none. It is a fantastic fillip for us having someone of Pat’s calibre on board. He has bought into what we are trying to achieve and he is looking forward to helping us achieve our targets.”
Symonds is conducting a full review of Virgin’s operation from top to bottom as they look to turn around a sluggish start to the 2011 campaign.
Although Virgin have rectified their reliability deficiencies, Booth’s charges are well short of speed to challenge the established teams in motor sport’s premier competition.
“Pat works with the engineers daily, but his main job at the moment is to take an overview of where we are,” said Booth. “I am sure within a month or two he will give us some conclusions and pointers.
“I speak to him every day and I meet up with him two to three times a week. He is working closely with the engineers every day, rubber stamping everything they do and trying to help us move forward.
“We have to think about 2012 and beyond and that is where Pat will be absolutely invaluable to us.”
Virgin will unveil a new car package at the Turkish Grand Prix next month. It will include new exhausts, floor, front wing, improved brakes and tweaked diffusers.