Smedley set for Williams role change

Rob Smedley’s role at the Williams Formula 1 team will evolve this season, with the performance chief set to also focus on medium- to long-term development.

Smedley set for Williams role change
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Smedley attends all grands prix and has been responsible for running the Williams cars at the track, and that will continue to be a part of his role.

But Smedley admitted Williams, which finished fifth in the constructors' championship last year, needs to focus on planning further ahead if it is to become a frontrunner and that will now be part of his remit.

“I’ll still straddle between design and aero,” he told Motorsport.com's sister publication Autosport.

“But I will not only look after at the short-term - making sure the car runs and maximises its potential at the track and that we have a slick operation in terms of what we’re doing with the racing team.

“I’ll start to look at the more medium- to long-term development. It’s important that we start to concentrate a bit harder on that, in order that we’re making steps into higher-performance fields and not always trying to work at the same level.

“That will be a key part of what I’m doing.”

There were rumours of a change of position for Smedley late last year, with some suggestions hinting that he was spending more time at the factory.

Smedley admitted the plans remain fluid, especially given the changes to the outfit’s technical department.

Chief technical officer Pat Symonds parted company with the team last month, with Paddy Lowe expected to re-join the team in a senior position.

When asked about how he will split his time between the track and the factory, Smedley said: “It’s not entirely defined.

“That’s not because we’re disorganised but because we’re trying to see how best the structure is going to fall out and where best to use everyone’s talents.

“It will become clear, especially when the new car comes out, as a lot will depend where the biggest need is.

“I work for Williams, I’m passionate about this team, as I have been since I was a kid. I’m happy to be part of the on-going rejuvenation of Williams and I want to see it through in whatever role that is in.

“It’s important for me to see it through to the end. I’ve made a commitment to the team.

“It was a lean year [in 2016], but people who don’t show resolve and walk away during the lean times for a more comfortable warmer environment to be in are perhaps not the people Williams want to employ anyway.”

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