Engineering is in Pat’s blood. His father was an engineer in the Royal Air Force and together they used to watch races at Snetterton circuit in Norfolk. One particular race meeting stands out: “It was the Good Friday Formula 2 meeting in 1967,” says Pat. “I was 14 years old and it was then that I knew what I wanted to do. I was fascinated by racing cars and wanted to design them thereafter.”
He gained a Masters in automotive engineering at Cranfield University, after which his first job in motorsport was for Hawke in Formula Ford. He went on to join Toleman’s Formula One operation in 1981.
In an F1 career spanning more than 30 years, Pat’s greatest successes (seven world titles and more than 30 GP victories) have been with the Benetton and Renault teams, for whom he fulfilled the roles of technical director and executive director of engineering. He’s also worked with some of F1’s fastest drivers – Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso, among others – and he’s nurtured some of the sport’s brightest engineers.
Since 2009 Pat has run his own motorsports technical consultancy, in addition to acting as a technical consultant to the Marussia F1 Team. In August 2013 he joined Williams as Chief Technical Officer and has played a key role in the development of the Williams Mercedes FW36.
The FW37 was the first Williams car Pat worked on from its first inception through to the start line in Australia.Back to Speakers