Williams F1 fires Coughlan, hires Symonds in shakeup

Things have not been going too well for the Williams F1 team this season and compared to last season, one could argue they’ve gone the opposite direction from whence they came. It seems executive leadership feels the same and have moved to clean house and make some big changes at the team:

The Williams F1 Team is pleased to announce the appointment of Pat Symonds as Chief Technical Officer. Effective 19th August, Symonds joins Williams from the Marussia F1 Team where he held the position of Technical Consultant.

Symonds’ 30 year Formula One career has seen him achieve success with some of the sport’s most accomplished teams and drivers. Having started his career at Toleman, it was with Benetton and subsequently Renault that he achieved extraordinary success. His partnerships with Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso produced 32 race wins, four Drivers’ World Championships and three Constructors’ World Championships.  Since 2009, he has run his own high technology and motorsports consultancy in addition to acting as a Technical Consultant to the Marussia F1 Team.

Speaking about the appointment, Williams F1 Team Founder and Team Principal Sir Frank Williams said; “I’m delighted that Pat is joining the team. His technical capabilities and sporting successes speak for themselves and I’m sure that his knowledge and leadership will contribute considerably to the success that all of us at Williams are working hard to achieve.”

Mike O’Driscoll, Group Chief Executive Officer said; “Williams’ sporting and engineering heritage dictates that we secure the finest talent available. Pat brings unrivalled technical and managerial skills in addition to a proven ability to deliver on track results. Our commitment to return Williams to winning ways is absolute and this appointment is yet more evidence of our collective desire to return the team to the position it deserves.”

Pat Symonds said; “Williams is a team steeped in success and engineering excellence and I’m honoured to be asked to play a role in returning the team to its rightful place at the pinnacle of Formula One. Sir Frank, Mike and Claire have put in place the foundations for success and I’m immensely excited to begin this new challenge.”

That’s a big move that will leaves Marussia out in the cold as Symonds was previously working with them. You may be asking yourself, “wait, what about Mike Coughlan?” and Williams has an answer for that as well:

The Williams F1 Team has announced that Mike Coughlan has stepped down from his position as Technical Director and will leave the team with immediate effect. The team thanks him for the significant contribution he has made since 2011 and wishes him well in his future endeavours.

It doesn’t matter how you arrange the words, that’s a major change at Williams F1. Coughlan was best known for his involvement in teh McLaren “Spygate” saga and Symonds has been touched with his role in “Crashgate” so Williams have moved from one controversial figure to another althought it must be said that Pay Symonds is a genuinely good guy and I hear the same of Coughlan.

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