The designer responsible for the radical 'walrus' front-end treatment that 'graced' this year's Williams-BMW FW26 until the summer break is to leave the Grove team.

Paddock rumours have been confirmed by news agency Reuters, which quotes a team spokesman as saying that former chief aerodynamicist Antonia Terzi would be replaced by former Ligier, Prost, Sauber and Minardi man Loic Bigois.

The 44-year old Frenchman has been employed by Williams for the past year and, like Terzi is an aerodynamics specialist. He served two terms at Ligier/Prost either side of a spell with Sauber, but left to join Minardi shortly before the French team perished.

The Williams spokesman confirmed that Terzi had left her post on Wednesday, but insisted that the squad - which won the final grand prix of the year just over a week ago - was not expecting any delays in the production of the new FW27.

"There are no concerns about any rupture in the design process," he said. "Loic has been working on the FW27 all along."