Williams F1 team signs ex-Ferrari man Dirk de Beer as head of aero

Williams has appointed Dirk de Beer as head of aerodynamics, as the Formula 1 outfit continues its technical restructure

Williams F1 team signs ex-Ferrari man Dirk de Beer as head of aero

De Beer, who will start work at Grove on March 1, chief aerodynamicist at Ferrari before departing last summer.

Dave Wheater has been temporarily in charge of Williams's aero department ahead of De Beer's arrival, following Jason Somerville's departure late last year, and will revert to his role as deputy.

"We're delighted to have someone with Dirk's vast experience joining us," said Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams.

"Having spent several years as a head of aerodynamics in Formula 1, his knowledge and technical expertise will undoubtedly be a great asset to the team in our continued push to restore Williams to the front of the grid."

De Beer has a wealth of F1 experience, having had a brief spell in Sauber's aerodynamics department before joining Renault in 2008.

After five years at Enstone, where he headed up the aerodynamics department, he moved to Ferrari.

"I'm looking forward to working with Dave Wheater and the Williams aero team to help continue driving forward the development of the car throughout the season and beyond," he said.

It is the latest tweak to a technical team that Williams is keen to strengthen after it struggled with development throughout 2016 and fell back to fifth in the constructors' championship.

Pat Symonds left his role as chief technical officer at the end of the year, with former Mercedes man Paddy Lowe set to join the team in its most senior technical position early next month.

Meanwhile, Rob Smedley's role will evolve this season, with the performance chief set to also focus on its medium-to-long term development.

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