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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.

Dan Ticktum wins crash-marred FIA F3 World Cup in Macau

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Overshadowed by a horrific crash involving Sophia Floersch was the fact that 19-year-old Dan Ticktum dominated and won the Macau Grand Prix – a victory that puts him closer to earning the superlicence required to allow him to race with Formula 1, according to Yahoo! Sports.

Ticktum won Macau’s qualification race as well as the Grand Prix, starting first in both events. For his victories, he earned 10 points, which combined with 25 for his runner-up finish in the European F3 Championship leaves him just five below the 40 needed for the license.

This was Ticktum’s second Macau Grand Prix victory.

“It was a dominant performance that I was preparing for,” Ticktum said on his web site. “I don’t think I’ve ever prepared as hard as I did for this race and it all worked out. In the final race a lot of variables were thrown at me but I handled them.”

On his way to victory lane, Ticktum had to survive several restarts including the lengthy red flag period following Floersch’s accident to repair the barrier.

“I can’t count how many safety car restarts we had to do,” Ticktum said. “It puts a lot of pressure on a driver here with such a long run down to the first corner. I can’t remember a weekend when I’ve put it all together so well.

“The car was absolutely perfect all weekend, it was so good and I can’t thank Motopark enough for that. I’ve never been so involved in the set-up, felt so at one with the car as I did this weekend.”