Talking at the 2017 Autosport International, the Head of Performance Engineering at Williams Martini Racing; Rob Smedley spoke about the importance of junior series such as the F4 British Championship to develop young talent.
While visiting the MSA stand last week (which runs the championship,) he commented that Williams often looks towards these series to not just find young drivers but also potential engineers making an impact away from the media.
“Williams is always looking for talent, both driving and engineering, throughout the spectrum of the lower formula.” the 43-year-old started. “We look at British F4 for these talents. As far as we are concerned, the earlier we can get them on our books the better.”
Smedley himself has worked his way from a national level having once been involved in BTCC, the series which hosts the British F4 weekends. Since then, he’s experienced stints at Jordan Grand Prix and Scuderia Ferrari.
“The fact that British F4 has OEM backing gives it added credibility. Having any blue-chip company involved definitely helps in this respect,” he continued.
Talking more about the emerging drivers, Smedley was confident that the series has a vital role to play in developing young talent.
“The British F4 cars are great. They are well-engineered and ideal for young drivers to cut their teeth in. British F4 allows them to hone their race skills. It gives them the chance to learn about both engineering and driving, and this works really well.”
The F4 series begins its third season at Brands Hatch on 1-2 April. Four drivers have so far been announced.