There can be a number of reasons why a founding director would choose to resign from a board they helped create, but usually they move to a non-executive role where their knowledge can continue to benefit the business and its shareholders.

But even so it comes as something of a ‘slight’ surprise to hear that Director of Engineering Patrick Head leaves Williams F1 with immediate effect this morning. The statement adds “..The company wishes Patrick well in his future activities and remains indebted for his service to Williams F1 over the past 34 years.”

Head will continue in his role as a Board Director of Williams Hybrid Power Limited, a subsidiary of the company that develops and produces hybrid technologies and which is working with Jaguar on productionising the C-X75 supercar.

Williams F1 floated on the stock market earlier this year, citing its intention “ broaden the shareholder base as the current Williams owners look towards their retirement”, so the move is in keeping with these plans.

Head co-founded Williams F1 in 1977 with Frank Williams and over three decades has led the team’s engineering department. In that time, Williams F1 has won 113 Grands Prix and secured nine Constructors’ and seven Drivers’ World Championships.

Frank Williams commented, “Patrick and I have been in partnership for 34 years. During that time, he has been the leader of the technical team that has won the majority of our race wins and championships. This is a remarkable legacy and one which will be treasured and definitely not forgotten.

“Patrick is a very straightforward, hard working and truly gifted engineer who comfortably operates at a world class level. I will miss him very much, as I am sure his colleagues will, and he will always be welcome at Grove. Indeed, Patrick will still be seen around the factory as he continues to be involved in the development of our hybrid power activities.”

The lack of comment from Head was notable by its absence.