Well, quite a change in engineering. Half expected Felipe Massa’s race engineer at Ferrari, the celebrated Mr Rob Smedley to reappear at Williams but wasn’t sure in what capacity.
In interviews Mr S had indicated ‘negotiations’ were in progress but we didn’t really know whether these were for a continued presence within Ferrari or a new position at Grove.
Now we know, and it’s a major leg up for Rob as Head of Vehicle Performance, a newly created position which will 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. Rob’s proven track record and experience stand him in good stead for the challenges that 2014 bring.
Rob will join Williams before the Bahrain Grand Prix and he’s more than ably supported by race engineers Andrew Murdoch (Felipe Massa) and Jonathan Eddolls (who remains with Valtteri Bottas).
Richard Lockwood completes the trackside operation line-up, joining the team from Marussia as Head of Race Strategy. Richard will work with current strategist Randeep Singh who remains with the team for the 2014 season.
Commenting on the new line-up Chief Technical Officer, Pat Symonds said:
“Williams is undergoing change and these new appointments reflect how high our ambitions are. 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.”
It certainly is. Quite a change which really could help Williams regain its success. Let’s hope so.