Fry follows Tombazis from Ferrari to Manor

2016 F1 season

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Manor has hired another former member of Ferrari’s design team as it bids to move up the grid in 2016.

Pat Fry, who was Ferrari’s director of engineering until the end of 2014, has been appointed as engineering consultant.

Fry left Ferrari in the wake of its disappointing 2014 campaign along with chief designer Nikolas Tombazis, whom Manor has already appointed as its chief aerodynamicist. Fry joined Ferrari in 2010 as assistant technical director and was promoted following the departure of Aldo Costa the following year. He also previously worked for McLaren and Benetton.

Manor racing director Dave Ryan – himself a former McLaren man – said the team is “extremely fortunate” to have Fry join them.

“The aim is to bring performance to the car with effect from the Barcelona tests, then translate that to the race track in Melbourne, to ensure we make the strongest possible start to 2016 and have a good basis for development in the early part of the season.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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18 comments on “Fry follows Tombazis from Ferrari to Manor”

  1. This is another cracking signing for Manor. In Ryan, Tombazis and Fry they have a real wealth of experience they can draw on to improve the car and move the team up the grid.

    While I’m sad that Lowdon and Booth have gone, the team still seems to be moving in the right direction. Hopefully this news will be followed by the appointment of two promising (and quick) drivers.

    1. I also like these moves but one question still remains: who pays the bill, ie. do they have adequate financial resources to develop a competitive car?

    2. Having been on top teams, these men are valuable assets for a new project, that said, there’s a reason why Manor was able to sign these man, and it ain’t money. I’m sure anyone on the grid could match Manor.

  2. Now you know why Manor hasn’t signed any drivers yet, they are waiting for the 1st winter test and a potential Alonso’s decision!

  3. I’m starting to wonder how technical staff influences performance. When Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne moved to SF I knew what will happen. When Ross came to Honda I doubted about the result, the rest is history. When Adrian Newey moved from Williams to McLaren or RBR we knew what’s to follow. I would add few names to the list: Bob Bell, Geoff Willis, Pat Symonds, James Allison… You always know what will follow with these guys. Pat Fry? I don’t know. Good knowledge, poor understanding. Not a seldom case in F1.

    1. Boomerang, it really depends on the structure of the team, the resources at their disposal and the way that their role is structured.

      Just look at somebody like Aldo Costa, for example – he produced some quite innovative designs at Minardi despite their low budget and initially did well at Ferrari, but started to struggle as the team was restructured and he was allocated a new role. However, since leaving Ferrari, he has since gone on to design the W04, W05 and W06 – a race winning car followed by two crushingly dominant ones.

  4. With all these signings Manor might win a race this year XD

  5. Gavin Campbell
    25th January 2016, 11:08

    Maybe that Stephen Fitzpatrick fella’s got the right idea afterall! Crikey thats a decent looking proposition for 2016/7, we’ll have to wait and see what the car is like aerodynamically but the Mercedes power plant with a Williams backend must be one of the best packages on the grid at the moment.

    Now that Manor drive is looking like a serious thing rather than a pay driver haunt to circle at the back of the grid and put F1 driver on your CV. No wonder Magnussen is sniffing around.

    I would say with this level of commitment and technical staff they may well plonk for a decent driver if they can fund it.

    Looks like it could be Haas v Manor this year but not for the reasons we may have first thought!

  6. So we already their driver line-up for the season: Alonso & Massa ;)

    1. Seriously….can we guess what drivers they may be signing……there has to be an established driver, and probably the wild card for the other one…..still thinking about my choices, but possibly one of last years to be the reserve/test driver

  7. I’m not going to get high hopes for Manors transformation this year. Staff rarely make a day 1 impact, it’s more likely the real pay off if any will be for 2017 with their current signings. Also while the Mercedes PU + Williams gearbox and suspension is undoubtedly going to provide a step up from the 2015 running, it’s not like they’ve been hammering the aero development like HAAS have this year.

    And with the rumour that Honda have found 230 horsepower during the Winter I can’t help but think business as usual for Manor with no one to really fight with at the back.

    And the cynic in me is still thinking Stephen Fitzpatrick being a business man is trying to increase the value of Manor ready to offload it. I wonder what kind of stock options the new signings have had because they are pretty big names to be joining a back marker?

    1. Increasing the value of Manor can (probably) only be done by making them more competitive and getting better results on the track. That is an admirable aim worthy of our applause, even if driven more by financial concerns than sporting ambition.

      1. Have you ever heard the saying ‘you can polish money into a car’?

  8. That frying pan did him no good :)

  9. I wonder what ‘engineering consultant’ means? It doesn’t sound full time.

  10. No One Better (@)
    25th January 2016, 17:51

    Manor is really turning into Mercedes’ B Team. I expect them to sign Wherlein now. McLaren better start working on theirs if they want to compete with Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes.

    1. @noonebetter

      Agree. I think Manor is really getting a lot f pod resources in place. Fry might not have set the world on fire in his Ferrari stint, but he had a few great years at Mclaren. He has a wealth of experience working for top teams, and will definitely add a lot of value to Manor. Similarly for Tombazis, who has designed some very competitive cars for top teams.

      I don’t know if this is a cash injection from Mercedes, (maybe as a response to the Haas – Ferrari partnership), or whether they managed to rope in these resources for really small amounts of money. Either ways, I think it’s a good job on Manor’s part to get a few recognised names on their staff.

      If I was Mclaren, I would be really scared. Both the back marking teams will have 2016 Merc and Ferrari PUs, and might have quick number 1 drivers as well.

      If Honda pulls another epic fail with their 2016 PU, it could be Mclaren at the back of the grid.

  11. I hope Manor can be competitive both on and off track with this changes. Really want them to have multiple sponsors sticker strapped in their cars, and challenging for points this year.

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