Symonds replaces ousted Coughlan at Williams

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Pat Symonds will join Williams next month to replace technical director Mike Coughlan, who has left the team with immediately effect.

Symonds leaves his position as technical consultant at Marussia where he had been since 2011.

Williams have endured a troubled start to 2013 and are yet to score any points after nine races with the FW35. At this point last year they had 47 on the board, had won the Spanish Grand Prix and were seventh in the championship.

Williams founder Sir Frank Williams said welcomed Symonds’ impending arrival, saying: “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.”

Symonds said: “Williams is a team steeped in success and engineering excellence and I’m honored to be asked to play a role in returning the team to its rightful place at the pinnacle of Formula One. Sir Frank, Mike [O’Driscoll, group CEO] and Claire [Williams, deputy team principal] have put in place the foundations for success and I’m immensely excited to begin this new challenge.”

Of his former team Symonds added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Marussia F1 Team over the course of the past two and a half seasons.”

“The team has developed immeasurably during that time and it now has all the right people and resources in place to achieve great things in the future. I wish the team the success it so richly deserves.”

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”