Smedley takes consultancy role with F1


Widely linked with a return to Ferrari, former Williams Head of Performance Engineering, Rob Smedley, has instead taken a consultancy role with Ross Brawn's technical team.

As the sport looks ahead to a major revamp in 2021, Brawn, who led Benetton, Ferrari and his own team to title-winning success, has been building a technical team charged with developing the regulations to take the sport forward.

Leaving Williams at the end of last season, following the Grove outfit's worst performance in living memory, Smedley said: "I'm looking forward to spending more time with my family before deciding on future opportunities."

Just a few days later, while attending the Brazilian Grand Prix he was asked if there was any truth to rumours linking him with a return to Ferrari, where he had spent ten years, most famously working with Felipe Massa.

"I'm going on holiday there (Italy) in January if that helps," he told reporters. Indeed, so strong was the belief that he would join the Italian team, a number of respected journalists opted to sign up with Ladbrokes to make bets on such a move.

"I would say at this moment in time I'm not closing off any options," he added. "I'm in a really fortunate lucky position that people want to talk to me so I'm talking and there's absolutely no avenues closed off.

"What I actually need to do is to at some point, towards the start of next year, is to get all the options on the table and after having spent a little bit of time away from it and being able to look at things with a clearer head, slightly less fatigued, then I will make a decision but until that point I will see what the options are as they come in and go from there."

Rather than settling on a particular team however, Smedley has opted to join Ross Brawn's ever growing team of experts.

"It's about trying to get a coherent message in terms of the technical side of Formula 1," Smedley told the official F1 website.

"How the events unfolded, why people have made certain decisions, and putting that out across the various different platforms," he continued, seemingly already well-versed in Liberty Media rhetoric, "and hopefully telling a better story of Formula 1. It's about really bringing the inner beauty of Formula 1 to the viewer, to the fan."

"In conversations with Ross, we were both of the opinion that there's this really rich seam of technical content, of data, of the way that teams operate, that actually never gets told," he said, explaining the reason for his decision. "And it's part of the whole story that underpins Formula 1, which actually the paying public, the Formula 1 fan, never ever gets to see... or they get to see very little of it. So there's an opportunity in front of us to put that together at some level.

"It's well documented that I'd taken a decision to have a little bit of time away from the coalface in the teams. But I still have a huge burning passion for Formula 1 and I hope that this is a way of me giving a little bit back to the sport, to explain what I've learnt over the last 20 years in Formula 1 as an engineer to the viewer; not only the technical side or the operational side, but the human side as well, of what it takes for all those women and men who work in Formula 1 and commit their lives to it."

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Published: 15/02/2019
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