Smedley keen to maintain Williams’ momentum

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Rob Smedley says it is important Williams maintains the momentum from last season as it looks to move closer to the front of the grid.

Williams finished the 2013 constructors’ championship in ninth place but was much more competitive in 2014 and finished third behind Mercedes and Red Bull, scoring one pole position and nine podiums. Smedley told F1i during an exclusive interview it is impossible to maintain the rate of improvement but he wants to ensure there is still notable progress throughout the team.

“It’s had this upward trend and when there’s an upward trend it’s really easy to motivate people, people skip in to work on a morning,” Smedley said. “But human nature dictates expectations are still as high as last year. Well, we can’t accelerate as fast as last year because we went from ninth to third, so that would mean we would be minus sixth of something this year!

“The acceleration and the regrowth is going to tail off, the trick is to ensure that we are still going forward. We can’t go forward as quickly as we did over the last 12 months, but from a strategic point of view we’ve got to ensure that we’re still moving the team forward and we’re still on with our long-term objectives. You won’t go from ninth to winning the world championship in a couple of years, the competition is just too great.”

And Smedley says the best way for Williams to be able to continue moving forward is for the company itself to grow, which will in turn lead to greater resources.

“I’m a great believer in … people talk about punching above their weight, well I don’t think you can punch above your weight in Formula One, I think you can punch at your weight and I think you can punch well below your weight. I think that’s what we've been seeing over the last few years, it’s people punching well below their weight.

“Williams punched well below their weight for many years and now we’re punching probably at our weight. We need to carry on doing that while carrying on gaining weight, if you like. That’s the trick, how you manage the here and now and the expectations you have here and now, and how you also ensure that you’ve still got your long-term objectives and you’re still on target with your long-term objectives.”

For the full interview with Rob Smedley on his first year at Williams, click here

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