Felipe Massa's race engineer follows F1 driver from Ferrari to Williams
The former Ferrari race engineer Rob Smedley is following the Brazilian driver Felipe Massa to the Williams Formula One team, where he will take on the new role of head of vehicle performance.
Smedley's radio conversations with Massa during races such as "Felipe, baby, stay cool" and "Who's the daddy of Brazil?" have made him an F1 personality. The 40-year-old will start work before the Bahrain Grand Prix in April – the third race of the season. The first race is the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on 16 March, followed by the Malaysia GP at Kuala Lumpur on 30 March.
The Briton had been expected to move to Williams after Massa, with whom he had forged a close working relationship, joined from Ferrari at the end of 2013.
Massa's race engineer this season will be Andrew Murdoch, who worked with the Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado.
Williams said Richard Lockwood had also joined the team from Marussia as head of race strategy.
Technical head Pat Symonds said the latest appointments reflected the former champions' determination to move back up the grid after a disappointing 2013. Williams finished ninth last year with a meagre five points.
"2014 gives us the biggest change to the technical regulations that I have seen in my career, and so it will be important to add further depth to the talent we already have here," Symonds said.