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Symonds in and Coughlan out at Williams

NEWS STORY
16/07/2013

On a day of non-stop announcements, Pat Symonds is to replace Mike Coughlan at Williams, as Spy-gate gives way to Crash-gate.

Less than an hour after Marussia announced that Symonds was leaving with immediate effect, the Englishman popped up at Williams where he will replace Coughlan as from 19 August.

"I'm delighted that Pat is joining the team," said Frank Williams. "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."

"Williams' sporting and engineering heritage dictates that we secure the finest talent available," added Mike O'Driscoll, Group Chief Executive Officer. "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."

"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," said Symonds. "Sir Frank, Mike and Claire have put in place the foundations for success and I'm immensely excited to begin this new challenge."

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.

In 2009 he left F1 in disgrace following his involvement in Crash-gate, the incident in which Nelson Piquet was ordered to crash during the Singapore Grand Prix and thereby benefit teammate Fernando Alonso. Since then he has run his own high technology and motorsports consultancy in addition to acting as a Technical Consultant to Marussia.

Meanwhile, Coughlan, who along with Nigel Stepney, was at the heart of the infamous Spy-gate saga, whereby Ferrari information was passed on to McLaren, has stepped down from his position as Technical Director at Williams and leaves the team with immediate effect.

The team thanked him for the "significant contribution he has made since 2011" and wished "him well in his future endeavours".

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