Williams has faith that changes Rob Smedley has made will ensure there is no repeat of the pit stop blunder that cost Felipe Massa at the Chinese Grand Prix.
Massa was on course for a top six finish at Shanghai when he lost valuable time after a rear wheel mix-up in the pits. Following a post-race investigation in to how the error happened, Smedley, the team’s head of vehicle performance, has moved to ensure that procedures are in place so it does not happen again.
“Rob Smedley is a very impressive man, nd that won’t be happening again. Not on his watch,” declared Claire Williams, deputy team principal. “Over the years, when you have been racing for so many years, you sometimes miss a step in a procedure and that can happen to anyone. It is a human error at the end of the day.
“Unfortunately, it cost us what could have been a significant haul of points. It is disappointing it happened and we put Felipe through that. But with any kinds of situations like that at Williams, we always analyse what went wrong and make sure we put really stringent procedures in place – and that is what has happened.
“It was a fairly basic error that was made, and was fairly easily rectifiable. Rob is working across a number of operation areas to make sure that a similar situation could not happen.
“He is making sure we are all lined up and what goes on trackside, everything that you need to remember, everything you need to do is covered, and everybody knows what their responsibilities are.”
SMEDLEY DOING IMPRESSIVE JOB
Williams has also praised the instant impact that Smedley has made since beginning work at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
“What he has managed to effect in two races working for the team is really impressive,” she said. “It is the approach, his skill set, his ability and his understanding of his role – to take an umbrella perspective of what is going on, rather than divulging himself in the detail which means he is not performing where he needs to.”