Smedley: Williams predicament a real shame

Michelle Foster

Rob Smedley launches new low-cost electric karting series.

Williams are paying the price for not investing enough in R&D and “it’s a real shame” says former engineering head Rob Smedley.

Smedley joined Williams from Ferrari in 2014, signing on as their Head of Vehicle Performance.

That season the team finished third in the standings, followed by another P3 in 2015.

And that was the end of the good times.

The team fell to fifth in the standings in 2016 before plummeting to stone last in 2018.

Under the guidance of chief technical director Paddy Lowe, they adopted a different design philosophy for 2018 and it proved to be the wrong one.

Smedley left the team in November 2018 with Williams having managed just seven points that season before Lowe, carrying the blame for the team’s pre-season struggles, took a leave of absence in March this year.

Smedley reckons Williams are paying the price for not investing enough in research and development.

“The team clearly needed a lot of work,” he told Simon Arron’s ‘Lunch With…’ in the July edition of Motor Sport magazine.

“We instilled lots of new engineering practices, but the next part of the journey was R&D investment and that never happened.

“If you want to be a true constructor, you have to have that level of investment or you’ll be left behind, regardless of how good your people might be.

“I don’t want to talk about particular individuals, but it’s clear some bad decisions have been taken for the team to be in its current position.

“It’s a real shame.”

Williams remains the only team yet to score a single point this season.

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