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Head steps down from Williams board

india Updated: Dec 31, 2011 20:25 IST

Reuters
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Williams co-founder Patrick Head stepped down from the Formula One team's board on Saturday after 34 years with the former champions.

Williams said in a statement that Head, 65, would remain a board director of Williams Hybrid Power, a subsidiary that develops flywheel technology for broader commercial use in buses and trains.

"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," said team principal Frank Williams.

"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."

Head founded the team in 1977 with Frank Williams and, as technical director and head of engineering, helped them win 113 grands prix, nine constructors' championships and seven drivers' titles between 1980 and 1997.

The team, who last won a race in 2004, is listed as Williams Grand Prix Holdings after an initial public share offer in Frankfurt in March. Head sold more than half of his shares in Williams earlier in the year, netting more than $50 million.

He told Reuters at last month's season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix that he was ending his active involvement in the F1 team.

Last season was Williams' worst in the sport, with just five points from 19 races and ninth place in the constructors' standings. "I certainly didn't have an ambition to stop my involvement in Formula One with a season like this last one we've had behind us," he said at Interlagos.

"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."