Smedley expected to follow Massa to Williams (2nd Update) UPDATE #2
(GMM) Williams has admitted Rob Smedley could be the next big name to join the beleaguered British team.
As it announced that Felipe Massa is joining the team from Ferrari for 2014, deputy team boss Claire Williams said "a number of announcements" will also shortly follow.
We reported in September that Massa's well-known race engineer Rob Smedley - who has shared a close, almost fatherly relationship with the Brazilian driver - is linked with a move to Williams.
It is believed 39-year-old Briton Smedley has since signed a contract.
When asked about that speculation, Claire Williams told the BBC: "We have some great talent in Williams but we need to make sure we have all the talent we need to perform right at the top.
"So I'm hoping that before the end of the season or maybe slightly after we'll be making some more announcements in a similar vein to this one (Massa)."
It has been rumored that, if Smedley does switch from Ferrari, he would not necessarily remain Massa's race engineer, but may take on a greater role of responsibility.
"If Rob Smedley was to join our team," Williams said, "it has to be on his terms, and he has to be given a role he wants to do and that may or may not be Felipe's race engineer.
"Felipe is grown-up enough to join a team without bringing his race engineer with him," she added.
11/12/13 Race engineer Rob Smedley is expected to follow Felipe Massa from Ferrari to Williams for the 2014 season.
Smedley has been working with the Brazilian driver since 2006 and he is expected to be another of Williams' recruits for the new season after a particularly poor 2013.
Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams has denied that a deal between the Wantage-based team and Smedley has been struck, saying that any such agreements would be between Massa and his race engineer.
"They don't come as a package," Williams told the BBC.
"They come separately. They are very much their own people. So if Rob Smedley was to join our team, it has to be on his terms, and he has to be given a role he wants to do and that may or may not be Felipe's race engineer. Felipe is grown-up enough to join a team without bringing his race engineer with him.
"We're working very hard to address the problems we have in-house. We have some great talent in Williams but we need to make sure we have all the talent we need to perform right at the top.
"So I'm hoping that before the end of the season or maybe slightly after we'll be making some more announcements in a similar vein to Massa. Whether that involves a certain engineer or other engineers I can't tell you."09/13/13 (GMM) Kimi Raikkonen's return to Ferrari could spell the end of race engineer Rob Smedley's career at the Italian team.
As rumors of the Finn's signing became clearer at Monza last weekend, some insiders could not hide their sniggering at the thought of Briton Smedley working hand-in-hand with 'iceman' Raikkonen.
"They would have to supply his (Smedley's) headset without a microphone," Germany's Auto Motor und Sport quotes one paddock wag as chuckling.
That's because 39-year-old Smedley is famous for his close, and almost fatherly relationship with the departing Felipe Massa.
Indeed, Smedley is known for talking at length on the radio with Massa, often calling the Brazilian 'Felipe-baby' and issuing detailed driving and tactical instructions.
Italy's Autosprint reports that Ferrari pairing Raikkonen - who last year earned cult status by telling his race engineer to 'leave me alone, I know what I'm doing' - with Smedley is highly unlikely.
In fact, Smedley has been linked with a return to Williams for 2014. Just before beginning his F1 career with Jordan, Smedley worked for Williams' touring car team.
Autosprint said Smedley would likely not be a mere race engineer at Williams, but rather will take on a role with greater technical or engineering responsibility.