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Smedley finally makes Williams switch as Head of Vehicle Performance
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Posted By: Matt Meadows  |  25 Feb 2014   |  11:27 am GMT  |  114 comments

Following months of speculation that Rob Smedley would follow Felipe Massa to Williams F1, the former Ferrari engineer has today been announced as Head of Vehicle Performance at the Grove squad. He will join the team between the Malaysian and Bahrain Grands Prix.

Smedley will take up a newly created position in the team, working alongside engineers trackside while assisting with the of the FW36 development across the season. His engineering experience will also see him support Andrew Murdoch and Jonathan Eddolls, the respective race engineers of Massa and Valtteri Bottas.

The team also announced that in an effort to improve its tactical resources it has signed Richard Lockwood as Head of Race Strategy. Lockwood will work alongside current strategist Randeep Singh.

“Williams in undergoing change and these new appointments reflect how high our ambitions are,” said Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds.

“We have a number of senior people joining to assist us in the pursuit of our ambitions and I am extremely excited to welcome them on-board. 2014 gives us the biggest change to the technical regulations that I have seen in my career, so it will be important to add further depth to the talent we already have here as we head in to the new season. Williams has always prided itself on engineering excellence and this latest announcement is part of our continued goal to bring success back to the team.”

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114 Comments
  1. aveli says:

    i hope he doesn’t ask massa to destroy hamilton’s races.

      1. aveli says:

        this was heard over the team radio, nothing to do with me.

      2. Rod says:

        Hi Aveli, you’re right. Only that it brings forth past sins… think of Pat Symonds. I doubt he would ever go back to that type of behavior.
        In any case, I’m liking what I’m reading of this renewed Williams team. And Massa will definitively be good help there.

      3. aveli says:

        rod, pat was punished for his sins so his sins are forgiven. smedly got away with it and possibly hasn’t learnt his lesson.
        i also find the developments at Williams quite interesting. i’d love to see how they compare with the other mercedes engined cars.

      4. aveli says:

        i think you can learn more about it from here
        http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=D_Nk69IcyJ8

      5. Gergely says:

        Well, I think most of the drivers out there did things they won’t put on the family album. Not even champions.

        We are sure it won’t happen at Williams.They are the team who are the most fair-play.

      6. aveli says:

        you’re right but i have only heard of one engineer instructing a driver to destroy another driver’s race. that’s lower than below the belt.
        i have a feeling Williams will have a lot of positive stories written about them this season.

  2. Jenks says:

    I really hope that the Williams is competitive this season. I’d love to see Massa tussling with Alonso.

    1. Pat Palozzi says:

      In your dreams

      1. Rod says:

        Ditto here too!

    2. Gaz Boy says:

      Could happen if the Prancing Horse is lacking rear end downforce and the Scuderia V6 is out gunned by the Merc V6. Add on Ferrari’s usual weakness of traction on slow speed corners, and who knows, could be Felipe hunting down his old team-mate!
      Fanciful? That’s what great about new regulation changes – we just don’t know!

  3. Random 79 says:

    Head of Vehicle Performance, otherwise known as Head of Felipe Baby Performance :)

    Looking forward to seeing what they can both do at Williams :)

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Frank and Claire have made some superb recruitments: Big Rob, Pat Symonds, Richard Lockwood. If they can gel together, and there is no reason why they can’t, then surely Williams will do some good business.
      I may be get some stick with saying this, but I think Felipe can revive his career – and results – with Frank and Claire. Although Ferrari are technically capable of running two equal cars, emotionally they were concentrating more on Fernando. I get the impression that Felipe felt frozen out and even somewhat undervalued at the Scuderia. Hmm, that sounds familar, remember Rubens stint at Maranello? Ferrari tend to be all their eggs in the basket of their “chosen one”, the other guy can you just collect points on a regular basis please.
      Do you know what, I get the impression Mark went through the same issues at Bull. I’m not saying the team deliberately undermined him – that is a foolish strategy – but I am saying Mark, like Felippe, and also DC at Macca never penetrated the team’s heart and soul, and would never be their “chosen one.”
      That doesn’t apply at Frank and Claire’s. Here you go fellas, here’s your machinery, go and ring its neck. Best man wins.
      Controversial? Possibly, but there maybe some elements of truth in it somewhere.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Can I just add Our Nige in his autobiography – that he wrote with James actually – said much the same thing: at Williams there is preferential treatment, where as at Ferrari there was.
        Some things never change!

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        Sorry, I meant at Williams there IS NO special treatment.
        Damm, this Red Bull-Renault keyboard always keeps going wrong……….I’m going out to get that new Mercedes keyboard, much more reliable!

      3. Random 79 says:

        You might get some stick from others, but I tend to agree that Massa might revive his F1 career at Williams and in any case there is no doubt that this is his best chance to do so.

        As for Frank I remember that when Mark went to Williams he said Frank made his position very clear.

        You’re not a celebrity, you’re not a superstar and you don’t get preferential treatment; you’re an employee who is there to do a job which is get points for the Williams F1 team.

        In other words there’s no bull****, which is the way it probably should be :)

      4. Gaz Boy says:

        I know readers on this forum might not believe this, but Formula 1 drivers are human – yes really! – and like any human being if they are made to feel inferior or undermined it has a negative impact on them.
        You can either use a carrot or a stick; very, very few drivers like to being beaten with a stick, so best off dangling the carrot in front of them.
        In Felipe’s case, that was the new Merc V6 turbo engine………….

      5. Martin says:

        There are varying levels of preferential treatment. Piquet had some contractual advantages over Mansell and there were times that he played games that the team could have shut down. I remember there was a time – Portugal 1986 I think, when Williams went to the effort of bringing four cars so Mansell could have more equal access to a spare.

        With Williams the power rested with Frank and Patrick as they owned the team and there were few grey areas. With Ferrari the political games to get investment out of Fiat to went through several levels, so there was more to be achieved by politics.

        With Williams now, it is likely that the team will try to bring two sets of upgrades for every race, but if one driver has an edge in performance and gives better feedback then it is natural for the engineers to lean towards that driver. Bottas has had several years to get to know the team while Massa has to do what Button did at McLaren.

        If Massa gets everything together then he could have a great year. Some of his qualifying laps last year, such as Suzuka, to me suggest that the speed is still there, but he needs to avoid the errors that caused crashes at Monaco (one of them), Canada and Germany. Williams presumably think so too.

      6. Gaz Boy says:

        Thanks Martin for your excellent analysis, as always.
        Yes, you’re right about Lord Nelson playing tricks on Our Nige. I remember Hungary 1986, Nelson had a special new differential that he kept secret from Our Nige, or his misled him to thinking it was worthless. End result: Nelson won, Nigel was third (lapped I think).
        Another example was Italy 1987, when Nelson decided to take the active suspension car where as Nigel stuck with the old fashioned passive one: Nelson won (his last win for Williams) and Nigel was off the pace in third. I don’t know if Nigel chose the passive car out of choice, but the active suspension car had a huge advantage in stability on the mega fast straights of Monza – particularly on full tanks at the start.
        There again, Lord Nelson was a scheming character who would always maximise a situation to his advantage – perhaps if he didn’t he wouldn’t be of world champion in 1987.
        Martin, I agree with your analysis on Massa, perhaps being a more calm, controlled environment of Grove will put Felipe in a better place – not just literally, but in his head.
        Lazarus Massa? Possibly.

      7. ciao says:

        “Nige, Piquet is smarter and tougher than you!”

  4. Matthew Taylor says:

    It only just struck me the other day that Massa is now working with Pat Symonds, one of the architects of the incident he has said cost him the 2008 title. I’m sure they are all okay to leave that in the past, but I wonder if it has ever been discussed…

    I am glad to see Smedley confirmed and hope this role means he is on the radio during races to give us a little extra enjoyment.

    1. Flying_Scotsman says:

      Now Pat has an opportunity to redress the balance and give Massa the championship he once denied him.
      Unlikely,i know,but hey…..everyone likes faery tales.

      I just hope we dont hear Rob say those fateful words……’Valtteri is faster than you……do you understand?’

    2. Phil R says:

      If I was Pay Symonds I would have replied “Yes there was a safety car, but it was the Ferrari man who got confused with a release button that ruined your race.”

    3. Fastfastfast says:

      Actually, it was Ferrari who squandered Felipe’s 08 WDC chances with the faulty electronic lollipop. He would’ve scored enough points from Singapore to beat Hamilton had it not been for that glitch.

    4. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      He lost Singapore when leading because of Another Ferrari pit blunder, releasing him with fuel hose attached. Didn’t he pit beCause Kimi hit the wall also?

      1. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        I’ll correct myself there, Massa dragged the fuel hose down the pits before teammate Kimi hit the mad turn 10 kerb then wall, so obviously he boxed from the lead due to the Piq Jr/Flav/Pat spin.

        Somehow I thought it happened later on in the race. I do remember Rosberg blagging second by gaining a big lead, staying out to the maximum time before he had to pit for his stop go. Also Alonso was looking great, unusually heading free practice in that car before it failed in qually.

        I also seem to remember a rookie Grosjean almost copying Piq Jr’s spin into the wall the following year in his Renault, with a few oh no smiles from the Renault wall!

    5. Gaz Boy says:

      I know Pat was involved in “crash-gate” but lets remember it was Ferrari that cocked up that pit stop by letting Felipe pull away too early in Singapore, so if anyone was to blame for the Sinagpore fiasco pit-stop it was the Scuderia: safety cars can be deployed any time remember.
      Also, Felipe was crash bang wallop in Australia, Malaysia and Britain (where he spun FIVE TIMES!!!!), he was very slow in Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and China (where Kimi very kindly moved over for Felipe) and Ferrari unreliability let him down in Hungary.
      The story of 2008 was more complicated than just Singapore.

    6. Davexxx says:

      Yeah it doesn’t sound like we WILL be hearing Rob on the radio to Felipe Baby, sadly, as both drivers already have assigned engineers – unless and until they ‘promote’ Rob. It would be a good PR exercise by Williams to have him ‘on the air’ though, as he has many admiring fans.

    7. Racehound says:

      I have no doubt that during a nice restaraunt meal Pat will let Felipe know that Fernando had no prior knowledge of the Piquet “Crashgate” nonsense….it was contrived by Flashio who probably made a killing at the bookies when Fernando won!!!

    8. F1 Badger says:

      Excuse my large degree of ignorance mate…can you fill in the gaps for me on that one, was symonds at Toyota or something? Or are we talking crash gate? Thanks in advance!

    9. AuraF1 says:

      There was a picture at one of the testing days of Massa and Symonds stood next to each other and very clearly looking anywhere but at each other. I imagine some success will improve the relationship though.

    10. Edison says:

      Perhaps Pat suggested Williams to hire Massa, as a kind of compensation about 2008 episode. I have read Filipe’s interview in a Brazilian periodic and he states that he would have a talk with Pat regarding 2008 Championship. Who Knows.

      1. Olivier says:

        I am sure Pat is not very proud on that episode. He didn’t mastermind crash gate but he did underestimate the far reaching consequences.

        One can feel he really wants to move on. With his professional Life and Williams. Now, if he could provide Massa the car to fight for the WDC, that would be perfect karma.

      2. Edison says:

        Your comment is right there. Indeed Pat is a very competent engineer and in my humble opinion him and Williams deserve to succeed again, and we hope so. Clare Williams has shown her talent in no more of couple of years re-structuring her Dad company far beyond expectation. Understand, I am McLaren fan since 1973, nevertheless I have deep admiration for Sir Frank Williams team.

  5. Richard says:

    Williams appear to be going from strength to strength so I hope it is reflected in results for them. Smedly is a down to earth no nonsense character with a pragmatic approach. It would be good to see Williams in the top five this year.

  6. Spyros says:

    Wasn’t Rob’s move to Williams announced already? I thought he was going there anyway, WELL BEFORE Massa’s move was announced.

    1. Dave Emberton says:

      Not announced, but it’s been an open secret since then, possibly even before it was known Ferrari were dropping Massa.

      I guess Ferrari are making him do gardening leave, as he won’t be able to start until after Malaysia.

      Things continue to look up for Williams.

    2. Andrew Carter says:

      It’s one of those “Worst kept secrets” things.

    3. Gaz Boy says:

      “Gardening leave” – or contractual issues in straight talking Mr Smedley English!

    4. Davexxx says:

      Indeed, Williams say they were negotiating with Rob BEFORE Felipe got the elbow from Ferrari

  7. Anil says:

    It could be a big year for Williams, and I think a rejuvenated Massa and of course Bottas could do well next year. They’ve clearly spent a lot of money on new talent over the last 6 months and combined with the move to the Merc power unit, we could see them fighting at the front again.

    I’m just hoping Bottas surprises a few people this year; he put in some mega performances last year but it was always going to be hard for him to flatter an awful Williams. If we get a new winner next year, I hope it’s either him of Hulk!

    1. Nick says:

      3rd on the grid in Canada with a car that was worse than the 2012 car shows he’s got the talent, and I’d wager with Massa there he’ll learn a whole lot more this year than he did with Maldonado.

      Honestly, Williams should’ve ousted Maldonado after 2012 and given Senna another year around, since he was the more consistent points scorer.

      Maldonado rode that Spanish GP for all it was worth, which was ridiculous since he never did anything after it.

  8. Stephen L says:

    Seems like a good move for all parties. Williams are certainly moving with a purpose, let’s hope they can keep it up once the racing starts. Fingers crossed.

  9. Bjornar Simonsen says:

    Williams is going somewhere this season by the looks of it! Good for the sport :)

  10. Gaz Boy says:

    I’ve been saying on this forum that Big Rob would join Frank and Claire; it was just a matter of getting the contractual issues sorted out.
    I knew Big Rob would join his great pal Felipe at Williams, no question. Secondly, Big Rob and his wife Lucy have a young family and they wish to school them in the UK. Thirdly, Mr Smedley, good yorkshireman that he is likes a pint of bitter and a Sunday roast, so from a gastronomic point of view that’s something to consider!
    Big Rob and Williams will fit like a glove: a straight talking no nonsense Yorkshireman is the sort of person Frank and Claire love: like Jonsey, Keke and Our Nige they like a driver or engineer who calls a spade a spade. I understand Rob is going to be more behind the scenes at Grove but we will probably see him at grand prix weekends.
    Together with the recruitment of the savvy, shrewd and fast thinking Pat Symonds, getting Big Rob on the payroll is a very wise move by Frank and Claire.
    Can’t wait to see Big Rob in Martini blue and white team uniform. Welcome back to Blighty Rob!

    1. DanT says:

      Rob’s a smoggie and won’t thank you for calling him a yorkshireman.

    2. Richard says:

      Isn’t he from Middlesborough?

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Yes – Normanby in North Yorkshire.
        Captain James Cook was born and brought in the ‘borough area as well and he is often credited as being “the yorkshireman who discovered Australia and New Zealand and annexed those lands to the British empire.”
        Big Rob is in the same mould as Freddie Trueman, Geoffrey Boycott and Jeremy Clarkson: the opinionated, straight talking, always in the right never afraid to be controversial Yorkshireman.
        That’s a point, I wonder why the wooly haired 6’5′ big ape from Doncaster thinks of the new cars and upcoming season?

      2. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        It was predictable, he talked about the Totto Rosso and Caterham…

        “sex aids on the front”

        “formula strap-on”

        “could have a little blue triangular v-power button on the steering wheel that extends the bit at the front out … to win a neck and neck race…”

        If you can see it…
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/b03tzcbb/?t=19m

      3. SC says:

        Middlesborough is in Yorkshire

    3. Random 79 says:

      Do you have a nickname for everyone in F1 and if so may we have a list for identification and record keeping purposes? Ta :)

      1. Sasidharan says:

        Yes lets have a ‘Gazipedia’
        Big Rob: Rob Smedley
        Bull: RedBull
        ….
        Felipe Baby: Massa

        Our Nige:?

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        I’m flattered by the idea, but unfortunately Mr E and FOM would have it closed down as it isn’t the copyright of Formula 1 management.
        You can imagine Mr E and his lawyers: “sorry, if a nickname isn’t authorised by us, you can’t have it.”
        Having said, with his impending German court case, Mr E and his lawyers have other matters on their mind………………

      3. Gaz Boy says:

        No problem Random – be aware most of them I’ve taken from the British media – they do like a nickname in Blighty! Here are some of the top of my head
        Our Nige – Nigel Mansell
        The Professor – Alain Prost
        Big Rob – Ron Smedley
        Vatty – Mr Bottas
        Jonsey – Alan Jones
        Ralfie – Ralf Schumacher
        Regie – Renault F1
        Prancing Horse/Fezza – Ferrari
        Magic – Ayrton Senna
        Lole – Carlos Reutemann
        Big Ape/Orangutan – Jeremy Clarkson

      4. Gaz Boy says:

        Is it me or does the above photo of Big Rob show his beard to be ginger tinted? I know people from the East coast of England and Scotland have Viking ancestry – looking at that photo you could be looking at a Norse warrior!

      5. Random 79 says:

        Good start, let’s call it a work in progress :)

      6. Gaz Boy says:

        RE Random – a work in progress – a bit like the Red Bull-Renault turbo!
        Do you know what, Mark must be thanking his lucky stars he bailed out of the lifeboat before the Titanic went down!

      7. Random 79 says:

        Not to quibble, but don’t you mean jumped into the lifeboat?

        Bailing out of the lifeboat just before the Titanic goes down just seems like a bit of a silly life choice ;)

      8. Gaz Boy says:

        Yes, you are right Random, I meant jumped into the lifeboat!
        Let’s just say Mark has dodged a Red Bull-Renault turbo sized bullet! Maybe he knew something last year that we didn’t?

      9. Random 79 says:

        Maybe Gaz, but – contracts aside – I’d be surprised if there was anything Mark knew about it that Vettel didn’t.

        It was just time for Mark to move on and try something different, and as you say it seems that his timing couldn’t have been better :)

    4. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Love it Gaz, the potential that the thing that decided it for Rob was that those Italians can make beautiful cars but they, ahem “canna myek a canny good Yorkshire pudding”

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Absolutely. Yorkshiremen/women make beautiful cars too – Ginetta are based in Leeds, owned by professional Yorkshire Lawrence Tomlinson. They make some stunning looking machines – and the Ginetta grid girls are lovely too!

  11. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

    Not Felipe’s engineer no more, now it’s Head of Vehicle Performance…

    Wonder if that means Felipe will be bringing Rob the Martinis, shaken not stirred, rather than the other way around ;)

    Hope Williams have a cracking season.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      I reckon as a good Yorkshireman Big Rob prefers a pint of John Smiths! And a packet of pork scratchings and a bag of crisps to wash down the amber nectar.
      I reckon Frank and Claire will do some good business this year, Felipe brings experience and widsom, while Mr Bottas is potentially another Keke or Mika (I don’t classify him the same as Kimi as he uses words of more than one syllable!).
      After a 10 year stretch in the wilderness, Frank and Claire could be feasting on manna from heaven this year.

    2. Jonathan says:

      with a bit of luck they will be shaking Martinis on the podium!

  12. Craig says:

    Going off topic here James (sorry), but I was wondering how you’re coping with the current situation involving Michael Schumacher?

    I know you’ve posted a few stories since his accident, and they were very professionally written, but I get the impression you were a fan of his just like the rest of us? I know you wrote the book, so at the very least you must have had a big admiration for his achievements in Formula One.

    Personally I’m a massive fan of Michael, he’s the sole reason I’ve watched F1 for the past 20 years, and I’m actually struggling to find interest in the new season. I think when it all kicks off in March it’s going to feel very strange.

    I know Michael isn’t driving anymore, but he drove very recently, and he’s the most successful driver in the history of our sport. It’s going to be hard for me to focus on watching (or enjoying) the 2014 season when the man who in my opinion is still the greatest driver we’ve ever had might still be lying on a hospital bed in a coma.

    Obviously i’m desperately hoping for some good news, and maybe by then we’ll have had some, but it doesn’t feel very positive at this very moment.

    1. James Allen says:

      It’s very sad.

      I worked with him, as you say, but never got particularly close, deliberately.

      Growing up the son of a racer, I learned young (from him) that you don’t get too close to drivers as they sometimes get killed. Some of the jounos who come from outside racing don’t realise that until something bad happens to their mate and then they are destroyed.

      With that in mind, it’s very sad and I feel for his wife and family, but one comes to accept that things happen sometimes, with bad outcomes.

      1. Craig says:

        I think I understand, and obviously you’ve worked in the motorsport media for many years – deaths in motorsport were more common back then so I can see why you maybe wouldn’t want to become close friends with a driver.

        The fact that this has happened to Michael completely outside of motorsport and also after his professional racing career ended though… that is pretty hard to take.

        And if anyone is reading this thinking “Why do you care? You never even met him!”, well all I can say is yes that’s true – I never met him, and therefore I don’t know him personally.

        As a fan though Michael is someone very special to me – beyond your average liking of a sportsperson. He connected with his fans and his team in a way most drivers could never dream of replicating – it’s something you can’t learn, you just have to be that kind of person.

        And that’s why I’m thinking of him everyday, and still hoping he can pull through and make a positive recovery.

        Thanks for your reply James – I appreciate it.

      2. James Allen says:

        Saw Jean Todt today and he said ” You will be writing another book on Michael.”

        I hope he’s right

  13. Neshaen says:

    Could Williams be the dark horse for the 2014 season?

    1. RichardD says:

      Hope so!

  14. Tickety-boo says:

    The news from Williams just continues to get better. Whatever the performance this coming season these additions to the team underline the creation of a serious push for the forthcoming seasons – brilliant. Smedley, besides being a character , is a superb engineering talent who was not used to best effect in the Italian team – what a steal!, can’t wait for this season to get underway.

  15. MrNed says:

    I adore Williams. I’m so excited that they’re bringing together the ingredients to put them back up front where they belong.

  16. Ace says:

    Test driver Felipe Nasr too….so will Smedley say “Ok, so Felipe is faster than you…Felipe. Can you confirm you understood that”

    1. Jonathan says:

      that could work quite well – shake them up a bit and stir them both on to quicker times!

    2. Random 79 says:

      Felipe Baby and Felipe Maybe ;)

  17. Chris Ralph says:

    A sense of excitement is definitely building at Williams. Watch Massa in particular and Bottas as the coming man this season, who knows how the daft double points final race may benefit them. Go the Grovers.

  18. Phil says:

    I think the Race Engineers report to Smedley, not “Smedley will support the race engineers”?

  19. Alex says:

    I have always found it interesting that engineers move teams and that relative competitiveness doesn’t seem to be a factor in the way that it would with drivers.

    For example Ciaron Pilbeam moved from Red Bull to Lotus which isn’t a a move you expect Sebastian Vettel to make.

    I’d be interested in some insight to what those decision make processes are – ambition, self-belief, necessity?

    1. James Allen says:

      Ciaron is now at McLaren

      1. bbobeckyj says:

        James, has anyone of significance moved to alotus recently?

      2. James Allen says:

        Not that I am aware of

  20. Kay says:

    “His engineering experience will also see him support Andrew Murdoch and Jonathan Eddolls, the respective race engineers of Massa and Valtteri Bottas.”

    Does that mean Smedley won’t be doing the radio talks to Massa during races?

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Yes, unfortunately, he’s more behind the scenes at Grove as he wanted to move on from being a race engineer to do some engineering/aero work.

  21. Neil Jenney says:

    It’s starting to look like Mercedes head hunted the wrong person from Williams (sorry Toto). I am so excited for Claire and her team. Right engine, great new engineers, commercial side coming together, great driver pairing. Excuse my enthusiasm but I want them to succeed.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Don’t worry, you’re not the only one :)

  22. Sam says:

    Talk about a Williams News Cycle!

    I really hope all this positive news leads to much improved performance throughout.

    Williams are a piece of F1′s heritage. (To me F1 without Williams would be like F1 without Spa, Monaco, Silverstone or Suzuka) As significant as these hallowed circuits.

    I really hope Williams with Mercedes can cement their future in the sport with some really great results from both Massa and Bottas.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Excellent piece. You’re right, Frank is part of the F1 pedigree, as is Silverstone and its awesome blindingly quick corners.
      What chance the blue and white cars to do well on the sweeping mega-fast curves of Northamptonshire?

  23. ànt says:

    Williams and Force India title dark horses this year.

  24. Delgado says:

    Hooray!!!

  25. Franco says:

    I’m not a Williams fan but I do like how they go about racing. Not only have they recruited good people they made the right decision in getting rid of Renault.

    Prediction for 2014
    Massa to win a race or possibly 2
    Bottas to get a podium
    Overall – 4th or 5th in the constructors

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Possibly even third in constructors?

  26. Urko says:

    Exactly the right one to give Felipe the message “Valterri is faster than you”;)

  27. Sideways man says:

    I wonder if at some point this year,whoever is Massas race engineer,they’ll say ‘Felipe you are faster than Alonso’. I really hope so!

    1. Random 79 says:

      How good would that be? :)

  28. MISTER says:

    I hope Williams can mix it with the big teams, but something just doesn’t seem right.

    Seen video interviews and articles with Symonds saying the car is running like a dream and that they had no problems on fourth day in Bahrain.

    Even if was true, why would they say all this? You don’t see Mercedes bragging about…
    I wonder if they throw all this PR talk because they still try to sign the Martini sponsorship and they need to be in the headlines for the right reasons.

    Seems a bit strange how much they brag about the new car. Hope I’m wrong.

  29. Graham bowman says:

    Good to see Rob gets to stick with his pal but for this news to make a headline on the most famous f1 news site just shows how few personalitys there are at the moment.

    1. Random 79 says:

      And how quiet it is between testing :)

  30. Richard says:

    I wonder what he’ll be up to at his new position. Would’ve been nice if he was Massa’s race engineer again, but hey, bit of change won’t harm them too much I gues.

  31. titanracer69 says:

    I am not a fan of Sir Frank nor of Pat Symonds. however, I do believe it is good for the health of the Sport that these guys seem to have it going on a bit for 2014. for that, I am hopefully thankful…

  32. Richard says:

    There are way too many Richards active on this blog lol.

  33. jay dee says:

    Its good to see williams going in a good direction at last. Hope they get a good points haul this year and a podium or two. And build up to challenge for wins in the next couple of years. With Mclaren switching to Honda next year Williams could be the top Merdedes customer team. Hope it gets them back to the front where they belong at last.

  34. AuraF1 says:

    I’m a McLaren fan but I would dearly love to see Massa get some podiums (even a win) just to see the Felipe/Rob man love reunion. Even the Ferrari fans desperate to get rid of Massa the past few years would probably appreciate that.

  35. chris says:

    yes all looks good for williams,they will soon be the official no 2 merc team(if they are not all ready)when mClaren go to honda,sure this is the main reason things are looking up for them,its a strong engine,but well done anyway.

  36. Bearforce1 says:

    I much prefer reading about positive things happening for teams and drivers. Super to hear and see Williams back it must have been awfully stressful for them for the last few years.

    Also happy for Felipe and Rob to be out from under the situation at Ferrari. I am not bagging Ferrari but it just isn’t a nice situation to work in I think (it’s mentally degrading for a racer).

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      I would agree Prancing Horse is a hot bed of politics and intrigue.

  37. panagiotis says:

    williams’ best recruit for some time………..http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2014/02/williams-give-susie-wolff-chance-to-be-first-woman-in-an-f1-grand-prix-weekend-for-22-years/

    what I ‘m trying to say is wolff the 16% shareholder, “wolff” the mercedes engine reqruit.

    have a good one rob @williams

    1. Thompson says:

      Lol….. Way too obvious.

      No one dares say it out loud – Williams may not be on that upward curve the way some would like.

      Not sure Rob should tie himself to Massa though in this way – you all know such relationships can only end in tears….. His tears!

  38. Dingle Dell says:

    The bromance continues…

    Good luck Felipe baby

  39. Olivier says:

    off topic

    hello James,

    A few months ago Montezemolo went to see Apple. Here’s the result of their collaboration:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/03/04/apples-greg-joswiak-appears-onstage-with-ferrari-to-introduce-new-carplay-equipped-grand-tourer

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes saw that, thanks

      Exciting tie up

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