Williams has announced it will part ways with chief technical officer Pat Symonds at the end of the 2016 Formula 1 season.

Symonds joined Williams ahead of the 2014 F1 season and was attributed as a significant factor in the team's return to prominence during the V6 Hybrid era having finished third overall 2014. Williams replicated that feat in 2015, though it slipped to fifth in 2016.

Symonds' exit comes amidst strong speculation Paddy Lowe is set to join the team from Mercedes, though Williams or Mercedes have declined to comment on the rumours.

"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."

Symonds' illustrious career has seen him enjoy stints at Toleman, Benetton, Ferrari and Renault, though his reputation was tainted in the 'Crash-gate' scandal that earned him a ban from the sport. He returned to F1 with a move to Virgin Racing, prior to his role at Williams.

Symonds' exit comes amidst rumours that Williams' lead driver Valtteri Bottas will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes.

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