Pat Symonds to return to paddock in 2013

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Long time F1 engineer Pat Symonds is set to make his official return to Formula One with Marussia. By then, the Brit will be allowed to take up any role within the sport after serving his 5-year ban resulting from the Crashgate scandal.

Spanish newspaper ABC reports that the engineer will become Technical Director for Marussia, a role which he already fulfilled behind the scenes since early 2011. Symonds was hired as a consultant to restructure the technical team and help with the design of its future cars.

Symonds, who worked himself up through the ranks at Benetton and later Renault has been race engineer for Michael Schumacher before progressing to become Executive Director of Engineering at Renault. He was expelled from F1 in September 2009 as the World Motorsport Council found him guilty - along with Flavio Briatore - of requesting Nelson Piquet to crash during the Singapore GP 2008 to facilitate the victory of Fernando Alonso.

The duo later saw their bans overturned in a French court, following which both reached a deal with the FIA that allowed Symonds to return fully in 2013 while being allowed to consult to F1 teams until that time.