Following months of speculation, Williams has confirmed that Rob Smedley, Felipe Massa’s former Race Engineer at Ferrari, will join the team in the new role of Head of Vehicle Performance in 2014.
Smedley has worked as Massa’s Race Engineer since 2006, and follows the Brazilian to Williams after ten years in Maranello, but will not fulfil the same role at his new team
His role will be to “strengthen the trackside team whilst also supporting the development work back at the factory”.
Smedley’s appointment is expected to ensure that the link between the race team and the factory is strengthened, an area that was highlighted as a weakness by Pat Symonds, the team’s Chief Technical Officer, last year.
The Briton is the latest in a series of major technical appointment by Williams, as the Grove-based squad look to return to the front of the grid, following a series of lacklustre years.
Rod Nelson and Jakob Andreasen both joined the team in January, while Richard Lockwood, formally of Marussia, has been appointed as Head of Race Strategy, in a shared role with current strategist Randeep Singh.
“Williams is undergoing change and these new appointments reflect how high our ambitions are,” said Pat Symonds.
“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.”
The team has also confirmed that Jonathan Eddolls will continue in his role as Race Engineer to Valtteri Bottas, while Andrew Murdoch, who formerly worked in a similar role with Pastor Maldonado, will work alongside Felipe Massa.
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