Williams has announced Rob Smedley will leave his role as the team’s Head of Performance Engineering at the end of the 2018 Formula 1 season.
Smedley joined the team in 2014 after eight years as Felipe Massa’s race engineer at Ferrari – following the Brazilian driver when he switched teams.
In an announcement on the team’s website, Smedley said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Williams. 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 One, 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 added: “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 One. 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.”
Williams finished third in the constructors’ championship for the first two seasons after Smedley joined before back-to-back fifths.