September 4, 2018 / 1:31 PM / 2 months ago

Fry returns to McLaren as engineering director

WOKING, England (Reuters) - McLaren’s former engineering head Pat Fry has returned to the Formula One team as they seek to build a better car for next season after years of under-performing.

Fry worked at Woking from 1993 to 2010, when they won championships with Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton, before joining Ferrari as deputy technical director.

He left Maranello in 2014 and worked most recently as a consultant to now-defunct Manor.

“Pat Fry is joining us,” team boss Zak Brown told reporters on Tuesday.

Brown said Fry would start work on Wednesday as engineering director.

“From a technical standpoint Andrea Stella is leading the way and will work very closely with Pat Fry. Andrea will set direction, targets and performance criteria and Pat ultimately will work with him to execute that.”

The pair also worked together at Ferrari.

“When I told the team this morning that was extremely welcomed,” said Brown.

McLaren have signed James Key from Toro Rosso as technical director but he is not expected to start this season with the Red Bull-owned team holding him to his existing contract.

Previous technical head Tim Goss was moved aside in April, after former engineering director Matt Morris resigned from a team far from its glory days as the second most successful in the sport.

McLaren also parted company with Racing Director Eric Boullier in July.

The team will have an all-new driver lineup next year with Spaniard Carlos Sainz joining from Renault and 18-year-old Briton Lando Norris stepping up from his reserve role.

McLaren have not won a race since 2012 and this season switched from Honda to Renault engines, a move that exposed the weakness of a chassis that the team had thought to be one of the best on the starting grid.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond

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