Behind the scenes at F1 - Who is Sir Patrick Head?

07-04-2020 18:47
by Editorial Team
F1 News
Behind the scenes at F1 - Who is Sir Patrick Head?

In the series behind the scenes in F1 we highlight a person who is not much to see in the foreground, but does mean a lot to Formula 1. This time we discuss Sir Patrick Head, co-founder of Williams F1 Team.

Pre Formula 1

Patrick Head was born in Great Britain on 5th June 1946. His father raced Jaguar sports cars. Head graduated in Mechanical Engineering and immediately started a job with chassis manufacturer Lola. Head didn't last long and temporarily focused on building boats.

Frank Williams

However, Frank Williams lured Head back to racing. Head joined the newly formed Williams team, which entered Formula 1 in 1977. The first car wasn't bad, despite the lack of money in the team.

In the second season Williams managed to score 11 points, the team finished ninth in the constructors championship. In 1979 the team entered the podium for the first time with a car designed by Head. They also achieved their first Grand Prix victories.

The big successes

It was in the 80's that Williams became really successful. The cars that Head designed in these years won race after race and multiple titles. Even when Head was forced to take control of the team due to a traffic accident where Frank Williams was involved with, the team managed to claim both titles.

From 1990 Williams and Head continued what they had been doing for years: winning titles. This time they did it together with Adrian Newey, who worked for the team until 1996, after which McLaren hired him. The last Williams title came in 1997.

Step back

After Newey left, Williams got worse and worse. In 2004 Head moved to the position of Director of Engineering. In 2004 came the last race victory for Williams, until Pastor Maldonado shocked the world by winning the Spanish GP in 2012.

In 2012, Head also resigned from Williams. Head received a Knighthood for his services in motor racing in 2015. In 2019, Head returned to Williams in an advisory role.

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