Pat Symonds leaves Williams
Technical chief departs Grove amid Paddy Lowe speculation
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 21/12/16 11:32am
Pat Symonds is leaving Williams after three years at the helm of the Grove team's technical department.
Paddy Lowe, Mercedes' executive director (technical), now appears poised to join the team with Williams saying they will be "announcing details regarding the team's technical leadership in due course".
Symonds, one of F1's most highly-rated and experienced technical bosses, signed a three-year deal to join the team as chief technical officer in mid-2013 after a stint at Manor. His final official day at Grove will be December 31.
"Pat has been a tremendous asset to this team over the past three years," said deputy team principal Claire Williams.
"Pat's appointment was the start of a major restructuring exercise, and he has been pivotal in reshaping Williams into what is a much stronger racing team today.
"I would like to thank him for all of his hard work and commitment during that time. We now look to the future and will be announcing details regarding the team's technical leadership in due course."
Symonds' first full season at the team in 2014 coincided with a revival in their fortunes after years in the doldrums, with the team beating Ferrari to third place in the Constructors' Championship.
A further third place followed in 2015 but Williams slipped to fifth this year after dropping behind Red Bull and Force India.
The 63-year-old, whose F1 career has spanned more than 30 years, previously enjoyed title-winning success at the Enstone-based Benetton and Renault teams with Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso respectively.
Lowe's return to Williams, where he started his career in the 1990s, has been anticipated for several weeks with the terms of when he switches teams likely to be linked to Mercedes' pursuit of Valtteri Bottas.