Rob Smedley has officially been confirmed at Williams on Tuesday, although not as Felipe Massa’s race engineer but instead as Head of Vehicle Performance, a new position.
Thus ends the chance we could have of hearing Smedley tell Massa, “Felipe, Valtteri is faster than you. Can you confirm you understood this message?”
“Smeds,” like Massa, had an extensive history at Ferrari going back to 2003. Massa raced with Ferrari from 2006, and Smedley joined up as his race engineer at that point.
The Englishman is one of several official new crew hires confirmed by the Grove-based team. Andrew Murdoch has joined up as Massa’s race engineer while Richard Lockwood comes on board from Marussia, as Head of Race Strategy.
Jonathan Eddolls and Randeep Singh will continue in their same roles; Eddolls is Bottas’ engineer and Singh will be team strategist.
Of the hires, chief technical officer Pat Symonds said, “Williams is undergoing change and these new appointments reflect how high our ambitions are. 2014 gives us the biggest change to the technical regulations that I have seen in my career, and so it will be important to add further depth to the talent we already have here as we head into the new season.”
Williams has made a number of official announcements of late, with Genworth and Petrobras both joining up on the commercial side, and the confirmations of Felipe Nasr and Susie Wolff as reserve and test drivers.
Still to come is Williams’reveal of its official livery, which is expected to feature the iconic Martini brand adorning the team’s FW36-Mercedes. Martini has been linked to the team in media reports this winter, but is yet to be officially confirmed by the team.