From the part of the US that I am from, we have an old saying that goes, “He’s a hard dog to keep under the porch”. IT was hijacked during the Clinton presidency for reasons I won’t go in to but it has typically stood for a person who couldn’t be controlled and one who had his/her own agenda.
When it comes to Rob Smedley, he’s a hard dog to keep under the porch. He’s just left Williams (he left Ferrari to follow Felipe Massa to Williams) and now he’s got a new job with Formula 1 itself. Yep, this lovable man from Normanby is now assiting Ross Brawn in the direction of F1.
“It’s well-documented that I’d taken a decision to have a little bit of time away from the coalface in the teams,” Smedley said.
“But I still have a huge burning passion for Formula 1 and I hope that this is a way of me giving a little bit back to the sport.”
Now there’s some familiarity there between Brawn and Smedley because they worked together at Ferrari so Rob is a well-known entity with Ross. But what exactly will he be looking at?
“It’s about trying to get a coherent message in terms of the technical side of Formula 1,” he said.
“In conversations with Ross, we were both of the opinion that there’s this really rich seam of technical content, of data, of the way that teams operate, that actually never gets told.
“And it’s part of the whole story that underpins Formula 1, which actually the paying public, the Formula 1 fan, never ever gets to see – or they get to see very little of it.
“So there’s an opportunity in front of us to put that together at some level.”
It would appear to me that Rob is looking at the data and metrics generated from F1’s process and trying to define how to tell stories with that big data. This is both wonderfully intriguing but I have to think it is also incredibly touchy as teams aren’t going to be too keen about the kind of data F1 shares because they have access to it.
There is no doubt a level of access F1 and the FIA have during a race for competitive regulatory reason but simply broadcasting that to all the fans and other teams would be challenging. I’ll be keen to see what Rob comes up with. You can’t keep Mr. Smedley out of F1…”Rob…is faster than…retirement!”
Hat Tip: Autosport