| SAO PAULO
SAO PAULO Nov 28 Williams co-founder
Patrick Head has called time on his active involvement in the
Formula One team after their worst season in the sport.
"I am not going to be directly part of the Williams Formula
One programme next year," Head, 65, told Reuters while ruling
out complete retirement.
The former world champions ended the season in Brazil on
Sunday ninth overall in the constructors' standings and with
just five points to their credit from 19 races.
That was Williams' lowest position since 1978, when points
were awarded only to the top six finishers in a race and they
scored 11. Two years later, they were champions.
Had this season's tally been calculated under that system,
or even the one in force up until last year rewarding the top
eight, they would have ended up with nothing.
Head, who set up Williams Grand Prix Engineering with
principal Frank Williams in 1977 and designed a series of
world-beating cars, said he would focus on work for Williams
Hybrid Power, which deals with flywheel technology for broader
commercial use in buses and trains.
"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," said the Briton.
"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.
"It's not interesting for me and it's not good for the
company so I decided to have a change of focus, that's all,"
"I certainly think those three people are good and I'm quite
certain they will lift the capability of the company upwards.
But we've fallen into quite a poor level, quite a long way to
go. It's not going to happen over a one-year cycle."
Head sold more than half of his shares in Williams earlier
in the year, netting more than $50 million, when the team made
an initial public offering.
Williams won nine constructors' titles and seven drivers'
championships between 1980 and 1997 but have not won a race
since Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya's triumph in the 2004
Brazilian Grand Prix.
The team have yet to announce their 2012 driver line-up
although one of them is expected to be Venezuelan Pastor
Maldonado, who scored one point this year but brings substantial
funding with him from state oil company PDVSA.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Patrick Johnston; For
Reuters sports blog Left Field go to: blogs.reuters.com/sport)