Rob Smedley: Early F1 start ‘more costly for us’

Rob Smedley believes the earlier start to the Formula 1 test season following the rearrangement of the racing calendar to accommodate all twenty-one Grand Prix will have an effect on teams.

The Head of Vehicle Performance at the Williams Martini Racing team has spoken out about the change, with teams now with two weeks less to complete the development of their 2016 machines, while Smedley also believes it will have financial ramifications.

Despite the schedule change, Smedley reckons Williams will be ready for the first test, set to start at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain on 22 February, although they may be short of some spare parts.

“It has an impact, there’s no doubt about that,” said Smedley. “But we have rejigged all the plans now, we have sat down and looked at an operational plan to get us from this point to the first day of the first test.

“That plan was already done and under way and we’ve had to redo that. It’s just going to be more costly for us. It won’t make a difference to when everyone sees the new car or in what state the new car runs or how it runs in the first test or how it runs in Australia – those plans won’t change.

“It’ll just be more costly to us and all the other teams because you have to rejig your manufacturing plans because you don’t want to change your design plans. You would subcontract some of it out, especially the composites and bodywork.

“We will probably be a little bit shorter on parts in the first test then we would like to be but that is just something we have to live with. You can’t magic parts out of the air. We will probably get to first few days with less than operational quantities. The change has big ramifications.”

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