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F1: Ferrari battle not personal – Smedley

Williams head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley tells Crash.net he takes no added satisfaction from fighting with Ferrari for third place in the constructors' championship
Williams head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley says he takes no added satisfaction from fighting with Ferrari for third place in the constructors' championship.

Smedley followed Felipe Massa in joining Williams from Ferrari over the winter, taking on a more senior position than that of race engineer which he had held at Maranello. With Williams trailing Ferrari by just 10 points in the constructors' championship, Smedley told Crash.net during an exclusive interview that it isn't a personal battle in his eyes.

“I don't know whether it gives me a great deal of satisfaction to be honest, just because it's Ferrari that we're currently fighting closely with in the championship,” Smedley said. “I think it gives me an element of satisfaction every step that we make; whether that's Ferrari, whether it's Sauber or Red Bull or Toro Rosso, it really makes no difference to me. Absolutely none whatsoever.

“I'm just happy that the team is progressing. That's my main aim and focus and I think that's the greatest thing about Williams. I was actually discussing this with Pat [Symonds] before the break and I said 'One of the great things we have at this team – and it's so difficult to find this – is that there's no egos'. There's nobody with their own personal agenda. Maybe it's because it's a family-run business but the absolute focus for everybody is the business, the team, Williams Grand Prix Engineering, Williams Formula One. That's the focus for everybody.

“I think that synergy that we have between the people and the common purpose and the common goal to be involved in something from the start I think really, really helps. As long as we're moving forwards, ultimately that's what we need to do and I'm happy.”

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August 30, 2014 3:38 PM

Smedley is talking much in recent months. Ok, he is making a very good job at Williams but I thought that the man who is most responsible for Williams current form was Pat Symonds, which rarely speaks to the media. Maybe I'm wrong, does anyone of you guys knows something about the contribution of Smedley and Symonds in the Williams team? Having the Mercedes engine did help Williams this year but also the chassis and other stuff is quite good in the FW36. Someone has to take credit about that(also every employee gives his contribution), as usually happen with Newey's incredible designs at Red Bull or in the cases when someone is pointed as responsible for the failure and is fired. Who's the main man behind the succes of the FW36 (aside Bottas :) ) ?


August 30, 2014 11:12 AM

I believe that it was his decision, and besides Massa saying “I left at the right time” and sounding relieved at leaving, I am one hundred and one percent sure that if he was given the chance to stay both him and his ex-engineer are still there.

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