Pat Symonds to leave Williams

Pat Symonds to leave Williams

The experienced Chief Technical Director is set to leave the team after joining in 2013. Mercedes' Paddy Lowe is his expected replacement.

James Eagles

Chief Technical Director of Williams F1 Team, Pat Symonds, is set to leave the Grove outfit upon the expiration of his contract at the end of this calendar year.

The 63-year-old, previously of Toleman, Benetton, Renault and Manor joined the team in 2013, after serving a five year ban from Formula 1 events for his role in the infamous 'Crashgate' scandal at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

Symonds' departure is thought to have paved the way for Mercedes Executive Technical Director Paddy Lowe to return to the team, 23 years after he left to join McLaren, after winning both the Constructors' and Drivers' Championships in 1992. However, the all-conquering German marque are yet to confirm Lowe's departure. Ferrari's former Technical Director James Allison is thought to be making his return to Formula 1, replacing Lowe, after leaving the Scuderia earlier this year due to personal tragedies.

Where will Symonds head next?

Williams paid tribute to Symonds' impact on the team, citing "a strong turnaround in the team's performances on the race track". The team's recent results have drastically improved under his guide - a ninth place finish in 2013 has been followed up by three successive top five finishes, as Williams look to return to the top of Formula 1 after a dire slump in the last decade.

Symonds has previously been part of four title winning seasons - all with Benetton/Renault - and has helped world champions Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso during their first two respective titles in 1994, 1995, 2005 and 2006.

His next destination is unknown for now, it remains to be seen as to whether he stays in the sport or retires upon this decision. Given the uncertainty surrounding several seats ahead of the new season, anything and everything is on the cards for several teams.