Williams F1 sign Ferrari man Smedley
25 February 2014 – Rob Smedley will switch from Ferrari to Williams for the 2014 F1 season, as part of a move by the Grove-based outfit to 'bolster' its senior race operations line-up.
Smedley had been tipped to join Williams ever since Felipe Massa – the driver he has engineered since 2006 - signed for the squad back in November.
Smedley, however, will not continue as the Brazilian’s race engineer, instead he becomes the head of vehicle performance, a newly created position which is intended to ‘strengthen the trackside team’ whilst also ‘supporting the development work back at the factory to help bring more performance to the car throughout the season’. Smedley will be supported by race engineers Andrew Murdoch, who is the engineer for Massa, and Jonathan Eddolls, who remains with Valtteri Bottas. He will take up his new job prior to the Bahrain Grand Prix, the third round in the 2014 F1 World Championship.
Meanwhile, Richard Lockwood has also been signed, joining the outfit from Marussia as head of race strategy. Lockwood will work with current strategist Randeep Singh who remains with the team.
“Williams is undergoing change and these new appointments reflect how high our ambitions are,” said Pat Symonds, Williams’ chief technical officer. “We have a number of senior people joining us to assist us in the pursuit of those ambitions and I am extremely excited to welcome them on-board.
“2014 gives us the biggest change to the technical regulations that I have seen in my career, and so it will be important to add further depth to the talent we already have here as we head into the new season. Williams has always prided itself on engineering excellence and this latest announcement is part of our continued goal to bring success back to the team.”