F1: Rob Smedley and Williams to part company at the end of the season
Senior engineer at Williams, Rob Smedley, will leave the team at the end of the 2018 season.
Smedley has been at the team since joining alongside Felipe Massa in 2014. He is currently head of performance engineering at the Gove based team but Smedley has decided the time is right to leave, and to enjoy more time with his family before deciding on anything regarding future opportunities.
Smedley was brought on by the British team to help bring them back into contention after a difficult 2013 season, which saw them score just five points. The progress made for Williams with Smedley was huge for the team, seeing them finish third in the constructors’ standings in both 2014 and 2015, with drivers Felipe Massa and current Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas. Both claimed a podium finish in Abu Dhabi in the 2014 season. Their form as of late however has seen them slump to last place in the constructors championship.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Williams" said Smedley,after making the announcement.
"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 they 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 said “It has been a pleasure having Rob in our team for the last four years and we will miss him both personally and professionally.”
“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. During his time with us, he has made a significant contribution to the team through his role, but he’s also been just a great person to have at Grove, inspiring many with his enthusiasm and passion for Formula 1. 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.”