Smedley: Williams must ‘attack all areas’

Date published: November 19 2018

Williams: Must attack all areas

Departing Williams engineering chief, Rob Smedley, has said that the team must “attack all areas” if they are to put their performance woes firmly in the past.

The nine-time World Constructor Champions have slumped, and remained firmly rooted, to the bottom of the 2018 standings, having amassed just seven points between Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin with one race left in the season.

And Smedley, who is leaving the team after Abu Dhabi, believes Williams cannot afford to leave any stone unturned in their pursuit of greatness.

“There’s never one magic bullet is there,” Smedley told Autosport.

“In all areas really, you can never stop learning and improving.

“I think it would be a mistake to pinpoint one area and say that has to be the sole concentration or that’s the sole problem; it’s not.

“As with anything that’s not quite working as well as it should be, or as efficiently as it should be, with any business, with any organisation, it’s never one thing.”

Smedley went on to back deputy team principal Claire Williams as the right person to lead the team ahead of what will hopefully be a more competitive showing in 2019.

He added: “They’ve got strong leadership and Claire [Williams] is at the front of that leadership and I think at that leadership level they need a recovery plan and that has to attack all areas of the business.

“It has to be technical, but it has to be all the support structure of the business as well.

“There are areas that need modernisation, there are areas that need change and there are areas you should recognise that are strong compared to other Formula 1 teams but are not supported in other ways.

“It’s a long road, they’re a talented bunch there, there are some really good technical people, some really good engineers and a good management group and the trick now is they have to pull together and start to go in one direction.”

Although Williams a shadow of their former selves, Smedley believes he will be leaving the team in a better shape than he did when he first arrived.

“I joined Williams at a time when they were evolving from having a torrid time of it,” he said.

“[For] the new regulations in 2014, the part that I was going to play in the journey was to take on the vehicle science, the vehicle performance side of it, the race operations and to try to help out in that area.

“If you look back at 2012, 2013 and from that point on, from 2014, with the huge effort that all of the guys that work in that department, we have been able to grow it, we’ve been able to improve it, and hopefully I leave it in better shape than it was.”

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