|© AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano
Rob Smedley, Felipe Massa’s race engineer at Ferrari, has joined Williams reuniting the well-known pair this season albeit with a different and an expanded profile.
Massa was dropped by Ferrari for 2014 following which the Brazilian joined Williams with Kimi Raikkonen serving as a replacement. It was then announced that the Finn’s race engineer would be Antonio Spagnolo, leaving Smedley’s role at Maranello unclear.
For the last few months, speculation indicated that Smedley would emerge at Williams as well. It was confirmed by the Grove-based outfit only on Tuesday, with the Briton to start in his new position prior to the Bahrain Grand Prix in April.
Smedley has been appointed in the newly-created position of head of vehicle performance, and will be supported by Andrew Murdoch, race engineer to Massa, and Jonathan Eddolls, who will continue working with Valtteri Bottas.
Williams also announced Richard Lockwood, who was with Marussia last year, to complete its trackside operation line-up as head of race strategy furthering bolstering its engineering department.
“Williams is undergoing change and these new appointments reflect how high our ambitions are,” said chief technical officer 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,” he added. “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.”