- Rob Smedley [Copyright: Williams]

Williams has announced that Rob Smedley will not only leave the team but also Formula 1 all together at the end of the 2018 season.

The Brit joined Williams in 2014 as the Head of Engineering and has been part of the outfit in various roles for five years now. Prior to his role in Williams, he spent 10 years with Ferrari - having joined the Italian manufacturer in 2004.

For the first two years, he was with the Ferrari's test team after which he moved to the race engineering role, held between 2006 until 2013. His F1 debut came in 1999 with Stewart GP after which he joined Jordan GP between 2000 and 2003.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Williams," said Smedley. "The team has been through great change since I joined in 2014 and it has been a pleasure to have played a part in that.

"Williams is a very special team within the F1 community and I’m certain that with all the talent that we have here they will go on and do better things. The team will always remain close to my heart.

"After 20 years in Formula One, however, I feel it’s the right time to reflect on things and evaluate what the next move is. I’m thoroughly looking forward to spending more time with my family before deciding on future opportunities."

Claire Williams added: "It has been a pleasure having Rob in our team for the last four years and we will miss him both personally and professionally. He agreed to join us at a time when our performance was low, and we are grateful that he saw the potential for us to turn things around at that time.

"During his time with us, he has made a significant contribution to the team through his role, but he’s also been just a great person to have at Grove, inspiring many with his enthusiasm and passion for Formula One.

"Rob’s been in the sport a long time, so we totally understand and respect his decision to take some well-deserved time out to spend with his wife and boys. We wish him all the best and thank him wholeheartedly for the time, passion and fighting spirit he’s given to Williams."

The Grove-based outfit has had a difficult year with only seven points between Lance Stroll and Sergey Siroktin. Smedley is the third high profile person to leave the team after two key personnel Dirk De Beer and Ed Wood's dismissal early in the season.

[Image courtesy: Williams] #F1 #Motorsport #FIA #Formula1 #Williams #Ferrari

[Note: This story was also written by me in Formula Rapida]

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