Claire Williams has said that the role of Williams' head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley could change in the near future in light of the latter's desire to take a step back from Formula 1.
Smedley, a pivot in Williams' engineering line-up, has vowed to lighten up his workload with the Grove outfit following a 20-year presence at the highest level of the sport.
"I'm thinking that in two or three years I'll want to slow down a little," Smedley said. "For professional reasons, coming to the races is the right thing, but on the personal side, I really miss my family."
Williams endured a difficult 2016 campaing but deputy team principal Claire Williams believes they have found the root cause of their troubles.
"When we started out restructuring, we said we would no longer tolerate our decline in results," Williams said.
"Then we had several successful seasons. Perhaps this year has forced us to wake up again. I don't want to discuss in detail the causes of our problems -- that would be wrong, but I know that we can solve them."
Williams will hold talks with Smedley in the coming weeks in order to determine his involvement in 2017.
"I took some time away from a few races this year and it provided a huge reset, so I can understand Rob's will to step back a bit. We can discuss that with him.
"He himself has to decide where his technical capacities will be most useful. Someone like Rob wants to progress and do more, and it's not always just associated with work on the track. So we'll see."
Williams admitted that Smedley would be a difficult man to replace in his current role, and paid tribute to his expertise and contribution over the years.
"Rob has done a great job since he joined the team and I do not expect any changes. He is an important part of the team, not just as a talented engineer, but also a very passionate person and that is what the team needs."