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Williams F1 technical chief Pat Symonds to leave at end of 2016

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Williams has confirmed that its Formula 1 technical chief, Pat Symonds, will leave at the end of the month following three seasons with the team.

Symonds, 63, has enjoyed a career in F1 spanning four decades, including stints with Toleman, Benetton, Renault and Manor.

Symonds left Manor for Williams midway through 2013, and helped to lead the team to successive top-three finishes in the constructors’ championship in 2014 and 2015.

Williams confirmed on Tuesday that Symonds would be leaving the team on December 31 upon the expiration of his three-year contract.

“Pat has been a tremendous asset to this team over the past three years,” deputy team principal Claire Williams said.

“Pat’s appointment was the start of a major restructuring exercise, and he has been pivotal in reshaping Williams into what is a much stronger racing team today.

“I would like to thank him for all of his hard work and commitment during that time. We now look to the future and will be announcing details regarding the team’s technical leadership in due course.”

Williams is rumored to be on the verge of signing Mercedes technical chief Paddy Lowe, with a move possible ahead of the start of the 2017 season in March.

Alexander Rossi’s Grand Prix of Alabama gamble fails to pay off

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Alexander Rossi bobbled for the first time in 2018 with an 11th-place finish in the Honda IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.

And to add insult to injury, Rossi also lost the points lead as a result.

Rossi got off to about as great a start to the season as possible. He finished third at St. Petersburg and sat third in the standings. He finished third again at Phoenix and climbed to second in the points.

Rossi won the Long Beach Grand Prix after starting from the pole and leading 71 laps. That put him at the top of the standings after three races.

Then, as quickly as he climbed to the top, he got knocked down a spot after finishing off the podium for the first time in 2018.

Rossi not only missed the podium, he finished outside the top 10.

“We didn’t get the result that we wanted,” Rossi said after the race. “That remains a mystery. But at the end of the day it was about survival. We couldn’t make the tires last; we couldn’t really get a great fuel number.”

The biggest negative was the one factor that was mostly out of his control. Rossi gambled that he was facing only a brief shower when rain began to fall with about 15 minutes remaining. He was wrong.

“We tried to be pretty aggressive on the dry tires and stay out and survive the rain, hoping it would dry out,” Rossi said. “And it didn’t really work.

“Sometimes you’ll have those days.”