Paddy Lowe has officially left his role as chief technical officer at Williams with immediate effect, the F1 team has confirmed. 

Lowe was granted an extended leave of absence from the team on March 5 amid a dismal and delayed start to the team's pre-season preparations.

In a short statement released on Tuesday morning, Williams announced Lowe will not return to the team and has stepped down from his role and position on the board of directors with "immediate effect".

“After a period of careful reflection I have reached the decision that I will not return to work at Williams," Lowe said.

“I wish all my previous colleagues the very best to meet the challenges ahead, which I am sure they will do.  I would especially like to thank the Williams fans who are so supportive.”

Deputy team principal Claire Williams added: “We understand and respect the decision Paddy has reached and wish him well for the future“.

Williams currently props up the constructors' championship standings as the only team yet to score a point from the opening eight rounds of the 2019 season.