Williams chief race engineer Xevi Pujolar is quitting the team to join Scuderia Toro Rosso – leaving the door open for Ferrari’s Rob Smedley to take over his job at Grove.
Pujolar previously worked with Helmut Marko at the Red Bull-backed RSM F3000 team in 2000.
The Spaniard first became involved in F1 as an assistant race engineer at Jaguar in 2002. He then joined Williams as a performance engineer in 2003, and he was promoted to race engineer in 2004, initially working with Juan Pablo Montoya.
After a brief spell at HRT in 2010 he rejoined Williams for 2011, and he was Pastor Maldonado’s engineer when the Venezuelan won the Spanish GP last year. This season he was promoted to the role of chief race engineer.
Smedley, who once worked with the Williams touring car outfit, has been linked with a return to the team for some time, long before Felipe Massa emerged as a candidate for a 2014 race seat.
While the presence of his longtime pal Massa clearly won’t hurt, as chief race engineer Smedley will have responsibility for both cars, and thus won’t be the man talking to the Brazilian on the radio. The end of an era…