Rob Smedley: Williams development struggle an F1 'myth'

The Williams Formula 1 team is dispelling the "myth" that it can't keep pace in the development race after a strong Spanish Grand Prix showing, according to performance chief Rob Smedley

Rob Smedley: Williams development struggle an F1 'myth'

Despite a considerably smaller budget than the likes of manufacturer teams Mercedes and Ferrari, and then-reigning champion Red Bull, Williams finished second on pace last year and is third-quickest so far this year.

Valtteri Bottas was able to hold off a much faster Kimi Raikkonen in the final stint of Sunday's race to take fourth following a small upgrade package car which the team says delivered as expected.

"There is a myth that has been circulating the paddock for about the last 18 months that Williams is not able to develop the car," said Smedley, whose team extended its lead over Red Bull to 51 points in Spain.

"But I think that we have again proved the upgrades we have brought here, even though we didn't make a fanfare about it, have been good.

"We have got quite a lot more coming in the pipeline as well, including some development items in Monaco.

"It's a constant rate of upgrades and some are really healthy so it is a definite reason to be positive."

When Smedley joined the team from Ferrari at the start of last season, he was tasked with the role of strengthening the trackside team and ensuring the link between the track and HQ works as effectively as possible.

And after nearly 18 months in the role, Smedley says that not only is he pleased with how the team is now operating but he also expects stability in the current group of staff to allow for further strides forward.

"I'm very happy with how the team is operating," said Smedley.

"I'm more comfortable than I've been since I joined the team.

"We've put together a very competent group now who operate very well and that's only getting better.

"It's quite a young group, in terms of experience so it hasn't fully matured in terms of how it is working together.

"If you look at the Red Bull group, they have been the same for a long time. The potential I see is good so I'm happy."

shares
comments
Manor F1 team boosts engineering strength with Pisanello
Previous article

Manor F1 team boosts engineering strength with Pisanello

Next article

Formula 1 Strategy Group opens door to customer cars

Formula 1 Strategy Group opens door to customer cars
Load comments
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Plus

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021