Former Williams head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley will work for Formula 1 as an expert technical consultant in an attempt to deliver more information to fans.
Smedley announced late in 2018 that he would be leaving Williams and taking a break from the sport after a 20-year career that included spells at Stewart, Jordan, Ferrari and then Williams. Ahead of testing for the 2019 season getting underway on Monday, F1 has now announced Smedley’s experience will be utilized to decipher more of the technical aspects of the series.
“It’s about trying to get a coherent message in terms of the technical side of Formula 1,” Smedley said. “How the events unfolded, why people have made certain decisions, and putting that out across the various different platforms, and hopefully telling a better story of Formula 1. It’s about really bringing the inner beauty of Formula 1 to the viewer, to the fan.”
The 45-year-old used to work alongside F1’s managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn at Ferrari, and while he isn’t yet ready for a full-time return with a team he says he shares a similar vision of trying to make technical information more accessible to fans.
“In conversations with Ross, we were both of the opinion that there’s this really rich seam of technical content, of data, of the way that teams operate, that actually never gets told. And it’s part of the whole story that underpins Formula 1, which actually the paying public, the Formula 1 fan, never ever gets to see — or they get to see very little of it. So there’s an opportunity in front of us to put that together at some level.
“It’s well documented that I’d taken a decision to have a little bit of time away from the coalface in the teams. But I still have a huge burning passion for Formula 1 and I hope that this is a way of me giving a little bit back to the sport, to explain what I’ve learned over the last 20 years in Formula 1 as an engineer to the viewer; not only the technical side or the operational side, but the human side as well — of what it takes for all those women and men who work in Formula 1 and commit their lives to it.”