Williams doubles up on race engineers for Sirotkin and Stroll

Sergey Sirotkin (RUS) Williams FW41
© XPB 

Williams drivers Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin will both have two race engineers assigned to them for 2018.

The move is part of an operational staffing reshuffle within the team.

Stroll will be supported by James Urwin and Luca Baldisserri, who both worked with the Canadian during his rookie season.

Urwin was Stroll's race engineer for 16 races in 2017. However he missed the final four Grand Prix races while on paternity leave.

Urwin's place was filled by former Ferrari engineer Baldisserri, who had worked with Stroll previously in Formula 3. Now both men will share race engineering duties for Stroll for the whole of the forthcoming season.

Head of performance engineering Rob Smedley told Motorsport.com that Stroll was "happy with what we have done bringing in Luca, who was with Lance anyway going back to the Prema days."

Meanwhile newcomer Sirotkin will have Felipe Massa's former race engineer Andrew Murdoch helping him get up to speed. He will share the role with senior trackside aerodynamicist Paul Williams.

Smedley described Williams as "a very experienced engineer and a very good manager both of people and technically." He added that Williams and Sirotkin had already "gelled" during pre-season preparations.

Smedly went on to explain that the decision to have two race engineers - rather than dividing the role up between race and data responsibilities - was a deliberate move by the team.

"It's more coherent and more focused on the team," he said. "As well as being focused on individual drivers."

Longer-term it's part of the process of the team preparing for longer seasons. New owners Liberty have said that they want to hold 25 races or more per year.

"Your best and most experienced people are not always onboard of doing 25 races per year, Smedley pointed out. "What you have to do is grow the pool a bit wider and have some rotation."

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