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Williams' co-founder quits

2011-11-29 09:03

SAO PAULO, Brazil - Williams co-founder Patrick Head will end his involvement in the Formula 1 team after its worst season in the sport.

Head said: "I'm not going to be directly part of the Williams F1 programme next year."

The former World champion team ended the season in Brazil ninth overall in the Constructors' standings with only five points to its credit from 19 races - its worst result since 1978, when points were awarded only to the top six finishers in a race and they scored 11. Two years later, they were to constructor.

WORLD-BEATERS

Had the 2011 season's tally been calculated under that system, or even the one in force up until 2010 rewarding the top eight, they would have ended up with nothing.

Head, who set up Williams Grand Prix Engineering with principal Frank Williams in 1977 and designed a series of world-beating cars, said he would focus on work for Williams Hybrid Power, which deals with flywheel technology for broader commercial use in buses and trains.

He said: "I certainly didn't have an ambition to stop my involvement in F1 with a season like this last one we've just had but when I have a look at what specifically I can do to assist (technical director) Mike Coughlan and (chief operations officer) Mark Gillan and (head of aerodynamics) Jason Somerville, I came to the conclusion that it isn't really enough to justify me carrying on doing the same thing.

"It's not interesting for me and it's not good for the company so I decided to have a change of focus, that's all. I certainly think those three people are good and I'm quite certain they will lift the capability of the company but we've fallen into quite a poor level, quite a long way to go.

"It's not going to happen over a one-year cycle."

16 WORLD TITLES

Head sold more than half of his shares in Williams earlier in 2011, netting more than R418-million when the team made an initial public offering.

Williams won nine Constructors' and seven Drivers' championships between 1980 and 1997 but has not won a race since Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya's triumph in the 2004 Brazilian GP.

The team has yet to name its 2012 drivers although one is expected to be Pastor Maldonado who scored only one point in 2011 but brings substantial funding with him from state oil company PDVSA.

Reuters