Williams announces new hires, participation at Jerez test

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Williams’ run of off-season hiring rolled on today with the announcement of three new additions to the team’s engineering efforts.

Jakob Andreasen, formerly of Force India, has been made Williams’ new head of engineering operations and will report to team technical director Pat Symonds. Additionally, ex-Mercedes man Craig Wilson is now the team’s head of vehicle dynamics and former Lotus member Rod Nelson is now the team’s chief test and support engineer.

With the three new hires comes a promotion as well, with current Williams employee Max Nightingale now reporting to Andreasen as head of vehicle science.

“Williams is determined to make strong improvements in our competitiveness over the coming seasons and these new appointments continue our aggressive approach in recruiting some of the sport’s best talent,” Symonds said in a team release.

“We are also committed to allowing our existing talent to grow and showcase their skills in senior leadership roles. Our engineering team for the coming season is looking strong and I’m excited about what we can achieve moving forwards.”

The team also confirmed this morning over Twitter that it would indeed be present at this month’s first Formula One preseason test at Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Another tweet from Williams also disclosed that they’re now underway with building their new challenger for 2014, the FW36.

Last year, Williams took part in testing at Jerez but used its 2012 car, the FW34. Their 2013 car, the ultimately ill-fated FW35, broke cover at the following preseason test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain.

Social roundup: Racing world largely outraged by Verstappen penalty

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The discussion over Max Verstappen’s post-race five-second time penalty assessed in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, issued when he tried to the inside of Kimi Raikkonen at the Turns 16, 17 and 18 carousel complex at Circuit of The Americas, will roll on far beyond today.

The debate today largely centered over consistency in adjudication and application of the rules, track limits themselves (always a sore subject at COTA given its wide runoff areas) or whether there should be permanent stewards.

In the immediate aftermath, though, Twitter lit up with outrage over Verstappen being assessed a five-second post-race time penalty.

Here’s a mere sampling of the reaction, below.