Williams technical chief Symonds brushes off speculation of F1 retirement

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Williams technical chief Pat Symonds has brushed off speculation suggesting he will retire from Formula 1 in 2018, quoting Mark Twain in the process.

Symonds, 63, has worked in F1 for over 30 years, enjoying stints with Toleman, Benetton, Renault and Manor before joining Williams in 2013 in the role of chief technical officer.

Symonds has helped Williams’ charge up the field, the British marque finishing third in the constructors’ championship for each of the past two seasons.

Following the Malaysian Grand Prix, reports in the German press suggested that Williams was lining up current Toro Rosso technical director James Key as Symonds’ successor once he retires in the next two years.

However, Symonds dismissed the rumors ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix, saying he had no plans to retire.

“Yeah, I read that myself! I was quite surprised actually,” Symonds said of the report.

“It reminded me of Mark Twain. You will all know that Mark Twain was once taken ill while he was in London and a newspaper in New York picked up the story and actually published his obituary.

“He sent a very famous telegram to them, saying: ‘Rumours of my demise are greatly exaggerated’. I think I’d probably take the same view on my retirement.”