Williams has confirmed the departure of its head of aerodynamics Dirk de Beer following the first six races of the 2018 Formula 1 season.

Williams signed de Beer at the beginning of the 2017 season, with the South African having previously enjoyed stints at Ferrari and Lotus prior to joining.

De Beer played a key role in the design of the new Williams FW41 car for the 2018 campaign, only for the team to slump towards the rear of the pecking order.

Driver Ratings - Monaco GP

With six races complete, Williams sits at the bottom of the constructors’ championship with just four points to its name, all of which were scored by Lance Stroll in Baku, where he finished eighth. Teammate Sergey Sirotkin is one of only two drivers yet to record a top-10 finish this season.

De Beer’s departure was confirmed by Williams on Wednesday evening, with Dave Wheater acting as his direct replacement.

“Williams can confirm that Dirk De Beer has stepped down from his role as Head of Aerodynamics, effective immediately. The team would like to thank Dirk for his hard work over the past year and wish him the best for the future,” a spokesperson from Williams confirmed.

“Chief Engineer, Doug McKiernan, who joined Williams earlier this year will now assume full responsibility over the aerodynamic and design direction of the car, with Dave Wheater stepping up to take on the role as Head of Aerodynamics.”

The team’s technical department has been overseen by former Mercedes and McLaren official Paddy Lowe since last spring.