Patrick Head’s career in Formula 1 is the stuff dreams are made of. In 1977, Head and Frank Williams co-founded Williams Grand Prix Engineering, and launched the first Head-designed chassis (the FW06) in 1978.

Just a year later, in 1979, the team began to see podium finishes, and in 1980 took its initial constructor’s championship. By the middle part of the decade, Head had moved away from designing cars to develop the role of Technical Director at Williams, a position that integrated everything from design through testing and racing.

During his career, Head helped guide Williams to 113 Grand Prix victories, seven driver’s championships and a total of nine constructor’s championships. Through the years, Head has hired and worked with many of the top engineers in the sport, including Ross Brawn and Adrian Newey.

As of December 31, however, Head is backing away from the sport he helped shape.

As Autosport reports, Head has stepped down as director of engineering at Williams F1 to focus on Williams’ growing hybrid business. As he explained to Autosport, “Certainly it is not the word retirement, but I am not going to be directly part of the Williams F1 program next year.”

Head regretted ending his career on the type of season Williams experienced in 2011. This past year saw Williams finish ninth in the constructor’s championship, amassing just 5 points over the season.

Things don’t look much brighter for Williams in 2012, either, as long time sponsor AT&T appears to have ended its agreement with the team. Driver Pastor Maldonado, whose best finish in 2011 was tenth place, will return with Venezuelan oil sponsorship, but the jury is still out on whether veteran racer Rubens Barrichello will be back in 2012.