Rob Smedley set to join Massa at Williams
Williams claim Smedley's role may not be as race engineer to the Brazilian
Felipe Massa’s respected race engineer Rob Smedley is set to follow the Brazilian to Williams for 2014.
On Monday it was confirmed the 32-year-old would be replacing Pastor Maldonado at the Grove based team and later they claimed further announcements would be forthcoming.
Asked about the speculation deputy team boss Claire Williams told the BBC: ”We have some great talent in Williams but we need to make sure we have all the talent we need to perform right at the top.
“So I’m hoping that before the end of the season or maybe slightly after we’ll be making some more announcements in a similar vein to this one (Massa).”
Smedley’s appointment would be less of a surprise as the move was predicted even if Massa joined the team or not, now it is believed the 39-year-old has signed a contract at Williams.
The Massa/ Smedley relationship is one of the closest driver/ engineer partnerships on the grid with the Middlesbrough born Smedley often seen as a ‘father’ figure to the Brazilian, indeed their radio conversations are often among the most shared over the F1 broadcasts during a weekend.
While the move will be well received by fans who have come to respect the relationship between the pair, Claire Williams admit Smedley’s role may not be as race engineer to the arriving Massa.
“If Rob Smedley was to join our team,” Williams said, “it has to be on his terms, and he has to be given a role he wants to do and that may or may not be Felipe’s race engineer.
“Felipe is grown-up enough to join a team without bringing his race engineer with him,” she added.
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