Williams has announced that its head of aerodynamics Dirk de Beer has left the team, effective immediately.
The South African only joined Williams in February of last year, following a spell as chief aerodynamicist at Ferrari and head of aerodynamics at Renault. The 2018 car was the first de Beer had significantly worked on but Williams has endured a poor season so far, scoring just four points in Baku and currently sitting bottom of the constructors’ championship.
In announcing de Beer’s departure, Williams says newly appointed chief engineer Doug McKiernan will take over control of future design directions, suggesting de Beer stepping down is part of a wider shift in responsibilities within the team.
“Williams can confirm that Dirk De Beer has stepped down from his role as head of aerodynamics, effective immediately,” a team statement read. “The team would like to thank Dirk for his hard work over the past year and wish him the best for the future.
“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.”
Williams’ longtime chief designer Ed Wood also left the team earlier this month — with “personal reasons” given as the reason — ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.
McKiernan was appointed in February of this year, reporting directly to chief technical officer Paddy Lowe who joined from Mercedes at the start of 2017.