It has been announced that Williams performance engineer Rob Smedley will leave the the team at the end of the current season.
Claire Williams said: “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.”
Rob Smedley himself commented: “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.”
Rob Smedley joined Williams a couple of races into the 2014 season, to rekindle the relationship with Felipe Massa they’d established during their time together at Ferrari.
Smedley oversaw two third place finishes in the Formula 1 Constructors championship in his first two seasons at the team after his arrival in 2014, this was followed by two consecutive fifth place finishes before a comparatively poor 2017 and a 2018 that has been the Williams Team’s worst ever season in F1.
While it’s said that Smedley has decided to leave to spend more time with his family, there’s the possibility that Williams have decided to offload some of their top earners with stormy financial waters ahead.
There’s currently no official line on what Smedley is planning on doing next: Perhaps he’ll join his friend Felipe Massa at Venturi in Formula E in what would be seen as another sizeable scalp for the electric series.
Or maybe Lance Stroll has enjoyed working with him so much in the two seasons they’ve been together at Williams that he’s persuaded Daddy Stroll to front up enough money to lure him to Racing Point Force India.
Who will replace Smedley, or indeed if Williams will seek to replace him is yet to be confirmed.
Thanks for all your efforts Rob. Good luck in whatever you choose to do next.