Patrick Head, Williams, Interlagos, 2011

Patrick Head steps down at Williams F1 team

F1 Fanatic round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Patrick Head will step down from his F1 role at Williams next year.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Williams co-founder Head ends F1 role (Reuters)

“I am not going to be directly part of the Williams Formula 1 programme next year.”

Jenson Button via Twitter

“Patrick Head who believed in me as a teenager and gave me a chance in F1 with Williams has decided to call it a day. Thanks for everything mate.”

Will Buston via Twitter

“Just wait for the official end of season F1 DVD. An incredible, never before seen, bit of footage of [Helmut] Marko tearing Jaime [Alguersuari] apart. Just amazing.”

According to Will this was after Alguersuari held Sebastian Vettel up during practice in Korea.

Mark Webber’s F1 win drives 4.8m viewers to the BBC (The Guardian)

Mark Webber’s first win of the season in Brazil had 4.8 million viewers between 3pm and 6.10pm, a 27.2% share of the audience, with a five-minute peak of 6.1 million.”

Formula One takes a step backwards with new TV rights deal between BBC and Sky (Daily Telegraph)

“Its authority will doubtless suffer as a result, as will the popularity of the sport. Those that want it can subscribe to Sky, but the apathetic middle will grow ever more disaffected.”

McLaren gaining confidence for 2012 (Autosport)

Martin Whitmarsh: “I think we had a shocking winter, probably one of the worst winters we have had. We were nowhere near competitive and had not done a race distance before we finished the Australian Grand Prix. That is not how you should start a season. I think we have taken some decisions based on what happened, and hopefully taken some learning from that.”

Jim Rathmann: an appreciation (MotorSport)

“Jim Rathmann won the 1960 Indianapolis 500 after a fierce, race-long duel with Rodger Ward and finished second in the great race three times in 1952, ??57 and ??59.”

Susan Combs U-turns on advancing state money for Formula One race (PolitiFact)

“[Texas State Comptroller Susan] Combs may have been justified in her recent statement that no state money would go to the race in advance. Still, it?s a reversal of her earlier promise.”

Bernie Ecclestone on Austin Q&A: “They never had the money…” (Adam Cooper)

??I was disappointed insofar as [race promoter Tavo Hellmund] had what he thought were partners that could finance the business and wouldn?t let him down. Really, they let him down and they?re trying to steal from him, get him out of it, and do the whole thing themselves.??

Hamilton hints he will extend ‘love affair’ with McLaren (Daily Mirror)

“I don’t think there’s any question of my commitment to the team, so there’s no real rush to have to do anything. I’ll just focus on the year.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Damonsmedley says Red Bull should have been less concerned about the possibility of Vettel’s gearbox failing:

The only thing I wished for is that Sebastian ignored the team. It would have been fantastic to see a battle for the lead and really, Seb had nothing to lose if his car did fail like Lewis? did.

I was disappointed that he did what he was told, but I?m not blaming him. I just don?t understand why Red Bull didn?t let him race when it would make no difference to them if he finished or not, really.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Alex White, Crispin, djdaveyp85, Prisoner Monkeys and Wes!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Michael Schumacher prepared for his F1 comeback by winning Felipe Massa’s end-of-season kart tournament in Brazil.

Massa, who was getting ready to return from injury, won the second leg of the event but Schumacher claimed overall victory:

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories F1 Fanatic round-upTags

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 59 comments on “Patrick Head steps down at Williams F1 team”

    1. Happy Birthday Alex, Crispin, Dave, Wes and Prisoner Monkeys!

      1. Yeah, same from me. Happy Birthday guys

      2. Happy birthday to all of you! Even if you don’t like Kimi coming back ;)

      3. Happy birthday @Alex-White, @Crispin, @djdaveyp85, @Prisoner-Monkeys and @Wes!

      4. Happy Birthday Alex, Crispin, Dave, Wes and Prisoner Monkeys!

        PS: It seems we’ve two Wes. ^^

    2. I am sad to see Patrick Head leave the F1 arena. Although I’m a Schumacher/Vettel fan, I respected the professional outfit that Frank Williams and Patrick Head ran and took to lofty heights. My vivid memories of the Williams outfit in their hay day was when Jacques Villeneuve, debuted along side Damon Hill and nearly won the AusGP in front of his illustrious team mate, but unfortunately an oil leak saw his debut win aspirations fade away when he had to yield to Hill…

    3. Sad to see Patrick Head gone, I can’t imagine the Williams garage without him. Really highlights how all those classic figures from 80s, 90s and early 2000s have disappeared or are disappearing… instead of Jean Todt, Flavio Briatore and Patrick Head we know have guys like Christian Horner, Eric Boullier and co.

    4. So yesterday I missed out the race because I was on a job related travel out of my country… so I was a little surprise when today while I was waiting for my plane to go back home I saw Lotus/ Caterhan team members on the airport… :) I was really happy… didn´t have the courage to talk to them but it was a nice surprise…

    5. While it’s sad to see Head go, I also find it quite interesting that he is going now. I believe Adam Parr and Patrick Head were lobbying for different drivers in 2012, and I think Head might have been backing Raikkonen (with Parr favouring Adrian Sutil). The negotiations with Raikkonen seem to have broken down completely, so I wonder if that failure had anything to do with Head’s departure.

      1. I don’t think Head is in position to go easily because just some trouble in the team considering how he’s big one in the team. Anyway, I’ll appriciate if they bring Sutil as well as Kimi.

        also Happy birthday PM!

        1. @eggry – I was actually thinking more along the lines that Head might have decided to retire earlier than planned because he was unhappy with the direction the team was taking, rather than being forced into retirement by Sutil’s supporters within the team when negotiations with Raikkonen collapsed.

          1. Possibly but I’m not sure.

          2. I really think he had this planned from more than a year ago, when they prepared the stock market entry.

            1. Actually, he is retiring only from F1 team, he will oversee team’s hybrid business which started from flywheel KERS but got life of its own now.

      2. Happy birthday pm :D

        I’d never be the same with someone to disagree with!

        I kinda agree with Eggry, I doubt you can just get rid of Head.

    6. Keith, i believe it’s Will Buxton, as opposed to Buston

      1. Yes.
        I wish Will hadn’t mentioned this yet in case Marko somehow manages to get this removed from the DVD before we get to see it. Probably can’t as it’s rather late in the production process. [Mr. Buxton recorded some of the soundtrack so he got to see the footage early].
        Check out Will Buxton’s blog for a transcript of his Speed interview with Mr. L. Hamilton in Brazil.

    7. By Head’s interview on Sunday it seemed as though for the most part he’s going to be sticking around. So whilst his role title and level of authority will change, I think he’ll still have the experience and straight talking opinions on various decisions to offer.

      Those ratings…that’s after both championships have been decided and all British drivers weren’t exactly in the mix for a win. What are the BBC thinking.

    8. I really just can’t stand Helmut Marko

      1. me either. Why does he always stick with Vettel?

        1. I do remember Jaime blocking twice within about a minute, but it’s just a practice session! Marko shouldn’t be making a big deal out of it.

          1. I’m sure Helmut did exactly the same thing after he held up Webber after Marks pitstop in Abu Dhabi last year.

        2. We still don´t know why he was mad at Jaime… so until then I gonna wait before passing judgement…

          1. I wonder Why Jaime just didn’t tell him to get bent. Man up and defend yourself – you are a grown ass man.

            1. Grown ass men don’t really have a place in a RB team. Well thats wrong, actually they do have a place .. and Marko makes sure they know their place …

            2. Harsh @bananarama but well said, that’s also my impression from Marko. I wonder how it will work when Vettel keeps maturing – will he remain the favoured son, or will he become too independent for Marko?

      2. Criticising one of your drivers for slowing down another of your drivers, in free practice. Ridiculous.

    9. I don’t think Head to go in this situation, but that’s what happened. Surly, he’s the most esteemed engineer in the history of the sport. I hope he’s new role in WHP would help Willams group as well as Jaguar.

    10. Happy birthday to Alex White, Crispin, djdaveyp85 and Wes!

    11. Happy Birthday to Alex White, Crispin, djdaveyp85, Prisoner Monkeys and Wes.

    12. Something tells me Will Buston doesn’t like Jaime Alguersuari…

      1. Even though he said he believed Jaime slaughtered Buemi?


      2. Will Buston might not like Alguersuari, but Will Buxton is a big personal fan. He spent some time with him in Barcelona during one of the F1 breaks this summer I think and was raving about what a great guy he is.

      3. haha, saw the article, take back what i said :)

    13. Following recent reports that Chelsea Football Club want to move away from Stamford Bridge Stadium to a new, bigger stadium at a differant location in London, QPR owner Tony Fernandes has come out and said his team also want to leave their current London home to move to a bigger stadium.

      Chelsea want to leave their 45,000 seat stadium, and Fernandes was quoted saying QPR have a catchment of ’40 to 45,000 fans.’

      However, it is famously known that if Chelsea leave Stamford Bridge, they must leave the Chelsea FC name behind…

      Is Fernandes planning to move QPR to a prebuilt 45,000 stadium, Stamford Bridge after Chelsea move out – perhaps he could take the Chelsea FC name and rebrand QPR! Then QPR could claim all the titles and wins that go with their new name/image! :O

      And the current Chelsea FC would have to rename as something similar to Chelsea FC like “London Chelsea FC” since they can’t keep the name when they leave Stamford Bridge – then the Barclays Premier League had 2 Chelseas! A Chelsea FC (QPR at home in Stamford Bridge) and London Chelsea (Current Chelsea at a new stadium). That would be crazy, unthinkable even! :O

      We’ve all seen crazier though…. :P

      ***Of course this is just nonsense playing with coincidences, never would happen in ever as Chelsea will stay put until name rights get sorted out and they can sell Stamford Bridge’s land for housing if the new ground is built.***

      1. What is this “QPR”? Some new overtaking device for 2012?

        1. Queens Park Rangers Football Club, it’s Tony Fernandes’ London based Premiership team.

          1. @calum I was making a funny :L

            I’ll never forget seeing QPR beat my beloved Southampton 1-0 on my first trip to the Dell :(

    14. 1. I’m conflicted with Head’s departure. While he is surely a stabilizing influence in the team and will always be regarded as one of the all-time great engineers, perhaps they are doing this to allow the new people to come in with new ideas and allow them to gain the confidence to work on them and grow in their roles outside of Head’s shadow.

      2. So Jaime joins Scott Speed in the Toro Rosso Hall of Shame. If it costs him his job, we now know why.

      3. Politifact on F1Fanatic. I never thought I’d see the day…

    15. I totally support the view that ‘real racers don’t need team orders’ but I believe RBR did the right thing this time. We don’t know exactly how serious the gearbox issue was but if Horner told the truth then it just made no sense for Seb to kill his gearbox while desperately trying to stay ahead of his team mate. I think the team, I mean, not just dr. Marko, Newey and Horner, but the whole team would feel very disappointed if they lost a podium because of a fight between Seb and Mark. OK, crashing while fighting for a position is one thing, it’s just bad luck. Deliberately ignoring a technical problem is something else. And right because it had no impact on the championship titles, I see nothing wrong with what RBR did, I would have done the same thing.

      1. Plus keeping Seb in the race meant Webber finished 3rd, a point ahead of Alonso.

        Not sure that securing 3rd means much to anyone though.

      2. @Girts
        I can only agree.
        The battle was lost anyway. There was absolutely NO way he would keep Webber behind for more then maybe 10 laps. But there were 40 or so laps left. It just wouldn’t be possible.
        Also, just because it wouldn’t matter if Vettel had a DNF in terms of the championship, a 1-2 finish in the final race is still a much better result to go into the winter on then a win and a DNF. 1-2’s are rare and it would be stupid to risk throwing that away, for nothing.

      3. Heh, feel compelled to respond @Girts – You are right, that it seems a bit silly to expect any team to not ask a driver to keep the car alive until the flag, if they can.

        It is an interesting contrast to Hamilton who went for it with a broken gearbox.Heh, feel compelled to respond @Girts, I

        But their situations differed. Vettel had trouble with those gears, but could preHeh, feel compelled to respond @Girts, Ivent the problem getting worse by short-shifting.

        McLaren, in contrast, admitted they knew early in the race that Hamilton had a problem, an oil leak, and nothing they or Hamilton could do would cure it or prevent it getting worse. So they let him race for as long as it lasted, as the only thing they could hope was that it would last the race, though it didn’t.

        I think maybe the in this case Vettel did need to be reminded of his teams orders. He didn’t want to be, but he initially clearly underestimated the problem while they could see the telemetry.

        1. huh, weird half double post, sorry for that, this is how it was supposed to look:

          Heh, feel compelled to respond @Girts – You are right, that it seems a bit silly to expect any team to not ask a driver to keep the car alive until the flag, if they can.

          It is an interesting contrast to Hamilton who went for it with a broken gearbox.
          But their situations differed. Vettel had trouble with those gears, but could prevent the problem getting worse by short-shifting.

          McLaren, in contrast, admitted they knew early in the race that Hamilton had a problem, an oil leak, and nothing they or Hamilton could do would cure it or prevent it getting worse. So they let him race for as long as it lasted, as the only thing they could hope was that it would last the race, though it didn’t.

          I think maybe the in this case Vettel did need to be reminded of his teams orders. He didn’t want to be, but he initially clearly underestimated the problem while they could see the telemetry.

          Vettel getting his 2nd made sure the team had another 1-2 chalked up to complete the year, another podium for Vettel, and gave Webber 3rd in the WDC, if they care. Clearly reasons for the team to want him to finish.

    16. Kimi has officially signed with Lotus Renault for 2012! Honestly didn’t see that coming :D

        1. @graham228221 I saw that coming.

          1. Now Kimi’s back – I’ll give him a quarter of a season before he gets bored with this style of racing and needs a fresh challange yet again – which will set it up nicely for Robert Kubica to come in midseason and replace him when he’s ready – you heard it here first! :P

          2. @wasiF1 well ok yeah, I heard the rumours but after the Williams deal fell through I thought it would just turn out to be the usual F1 rumour mill blowing hot air.

            1. @graham228221 I’m pretty surprised too, considering how they dragged Raikkonen’s name around last year like they did. Water under the bridge I guess!

    17. Guess who is back

      Can’t believe that last night I dreamt it!

    18. 6 World Champions next year – Kimi’s back – according to Official LRGP on my Facebook newsfeed. That’s great news.

    19. Raikkonen IS returning to F1 with Lotus!

    20. Interesting article I just saw, via the bbc comments, not sure if it’s been posted yet.

      Bernie anticipating that Western Europe will only have 5 races in the future, as it has lost its status as the spiritual home of F1.

      1. Bernie doing negotiations!

    21. Happy birthday @Prisoner-Monkeys Hope you’re enjoying it!

      A shame to see Head go. On the one hand, it would have been nice to see them have some consistency into next year. On the other hand though, after their worst ever season it’s probably a good time to start from scratch with someone else.

      A shame he left at the end of such a bad season for them. It should be great to see him around the paddock, enjoying himself.

    22. Its a sad sight seeing this team dissolve the way it has in recent years. The prospect of Kimi Raikkonen driving for Williams brought alot of attention on a team that has not won a grands prix since 2004. All of that has come to nought. This is the team, afterall, that won four drivers championships in the 1990s with four different drivers. The team that attracted star names like Mansell, Prost, Senna, Hill, and more to drive for the famous Grove based outfit. This is a team that prided themselves on their very British values when it concerned racing. A team that has gone through the highs of championship wins, and the nadir of Senna’s death and manslaughter trial. They have always been a team here for the longhaul, unlike the much vaunted Toyota and Honda for example. However, for the first time in their
      history, their thirty six year history, they appear vunerable.
      Losing Sam Michael earlier in the year to McLaren of all people, must have stung. Michael was always a very visable and highly thought of member of the team. Losing Patrick Head is even worse. In all honesty, the only person higher up the food chain than Patrick at the team was Frank Williams. Thats how big a loss this is for a team that appears to be crumbling.
      The writing was on the wall though. So many drivers have come and gone in recent years. Montoya, Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg, Nick Heidfeld, to name just a few. Most on that list have gone on the bigger and better teams in F1 and beyond F1. A year ago Williams made the decision to take on Pastor Maldonado and dropping Nico Hulkenberg. Maldonado brought to the team much needed Hugo Chavez sponsored millions to a team desperate for any cash they could muster. And out the door Hulkenberg went, despite showing promise in 2010 and attaining pole position in that years Brazilian grands prix. No mean feat, given that no driver since Montoya had achieved that in a Williams.
      You would have to be nothing short of Maldonado’s blood relative to come out and say that he has outdriven Hulkenberg in 2011. Pastor’s biggest achievement for me were is on track scuffles with Lewis Hamilton at Monaco and Spa. The latter was nothing more than bloody stupidity on the part of both Pastor and Lewis, a moment more akin to bangor racing than F1.
      The one plus for them has been Rubens Barrichello. The ever reliable and devoted Rubens, who in my opinion, has been the glue that has kept this team together in 2011.
      Its not a pretty picture. I was hoping that Williams could turn their fortunes around but I have my doubts now. Teams like Force India and Toro Rosso, teams Williams should be atleast fighting with and possibly beating, have overtaken them now. A once mighty outfit, a team that every driver wanted to drive for in the early 1990s, has become the new Minardi. Tragic!

      1. It is tragic. However, the real test of a teams (or a person, for that matter) is how they cope under immense pressure which Williams will be no doubt facing right now.

    23. It’s “Buxton”, not “Buston” Keith.

    Comments are closed.