Senior Williams engineer to leave at the end of 2018 F1 season
Williams’ head of performance engineering, Rob Smedley, will leave the team at the end of the 2018 Formula 1 season.
Smedley joined in 2014 after a tough 2013 season for Williams, in which it finished ninth. The team then finished third in the next two championships, only to fall behind Force India in 2016 and ’17.
He was Felipe Massa’s race engineer at Ferrari from 2006-13, moving with Massa to Williams after his Ferrari tenure.
Williams currently sits last in the championship, 26 points behind Toro Rosso-Honda.
From the Archive: Does he have what it takes?
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Williams,” said Smedley.
“The team has been through great change since I joined in 2014 and it has been a pleasure to have played a part in that. Williams is a very special team within the F1 community and I’m certain that with all the talent that we have here it will go on and do better things. The team will always remain close to my heart.
“After 20 years in Formula 1, however, I feel it’s the right time to reflect on things and evaluate what the next move is. I’m thoroughly looking forward to spending more time with my family before deciding on future opportunities.”
Deputy team principal Claire Williams added: “He agreed to join us at a time when our performance was low, and we are grateful that he saw the potential for us to turn things around at that time.
“Rob’s been in the sport a long time, so we totally understand and respect his decision to take some well-deserved time out to spend with his wife and boys. We wish him all the best and thank him wholeheartedly for the time, passion and fighting spirit he’s given to Williams.”
More: Lunch with… Felipe Massa