Patrick Head leaves Williams F1

Patrick Head with Mark Webber in 2006

Patrick Head is synonymous with Williams F1, that is why his departure is big news for the team and the sport of Formula One. He has been with Williams for 34 years after co-founding it with Sir Frank Williams and was the engineering guru behind the team’s 16 world championships (seven driver’s titles and nine constructor’s).

Last season was one of the team’s poorest years. The official statement from Williams sounds a bit dramatic when it states: “Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC (Ticker: WGF1) today confirms that Director of Engineering Patrick Head will step down from its Board of Directors with immediate effect.”

However, it would appear there is nothing sinister at play and it is more a case of Head winding down his enviable motorsport career. Speaking to Autosport he said, “I certainly did not have an ambition to end my involvement in F1 with the season I have just had behind us.

“But when I have a look at what specifically I can do to assist Mike Coughlan, and Mark Gillan and Jason Somerville, I came to the conclusion that it isn’t enough for me to carry on justifying doing the same thing.

“Certainly it is not the word retirement but I am not going to be directly part of the Williams F1 programme next year.

“I am going to be doing some work for Williams Hybrid Power, which may sound a bit dry and dull but it is actually quite high tech and quite interesting.”

An official statement from Williams Grand Prix Holdings, including comments from Sir Frank, can be read after the break.

Patrick Head and Frank Williams in 1979

Patrick Head Steps Down from WGPH Board of Directors

31 December 2011. Grove, UK. Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC (Ticker: WGF1) today confirms that Director of Engineering Patrick Head will step down from its Board of Directors with immediate effect.

Patrick co-founded Williams F1 in 1977 with Frank Williams and over three decades has led the team’s engineering department. In that time, Williams F1 has won 113 Grands Prix and secured nine Constructors’ and seven Drivers’ World Championships.

Patrick will continue in his role as a Board Director of Williams Hybrid Power Limited, a subsidiary of the company that develops and produces hybrid technologies.

The company wishes Patrick well in his future activities and remains indebted for his service to Williams F1 over the past 34 years.

Frank Williams commented, “Patrick and I have been in partnership for 34 years. During that time, he has been the leader of the technical team that has won the majority of our race wins and championships. This is a remarkable legacy and one which will be treasured and definitely not forgotten.

“Patrick is a very straightforward, hard working and truly gifted engineer who comfortably operates at a world class level. I will miss him very much, as I am sure his colleagues will, and he will always be welcome at Grove. Indeed, Patrick will still be seen around the factory as he continues to be involved in the development of our hybrid power activities.”