Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

F1 encyclopedia

Rob Smedley

Formula 1 employee

Rob Smedley
Credit: Glenn Dunbar/Williams F1
Vital statistics for Rob Smedley
PositionHead of vehicle performance
TeamWilliams Martini Racing

Rob Smedley spent time working up through the ranks in F1, but is most famous for his race engineer partnership with Felipe Massa at Ferrari. The pair achieved cult status with some of their radio chatter, and were often interviewed together. Their close working relationship saw Smedley follow Massa from their long stint at Ferrari to a new role at Williams. Rob moved on from the race engineer role to become Head of Vehicle Performance for the team instead.


Smedley studied mechanical engineering and mathematics during his time at university in the UK, and focused on chassis development when he graduated. He worked for Pilbeam Racing Designs and moved on to the Williams touring car team before getting his big break in Formula One.

Employeed by Jordan Grand Prix, Smedley continued to work his way up - firstly analysing all the data to supply to the race engineer, and then becoming a race engineer himself. He moved to Ferrari to join their test team and then switched to the main squad in the middle of 2006. He became Felipe Massa's race engineer and the pair worked hard on improving the driver's form over the next few seasons.

The turnaround was noticeable, and their partnership cemented in the minds of fans and F1 alike. When Felipe Massa moved to the Williams team at the end of 2013, it wasn't long before Rob Smedley was also on the move. No longer satisfied with race engineer work, Smedley was given a promotion to Head of Track Engineering, although he does still sit on the pit wall during races.