Formula 1: Williams appoint Simon Roberts from McLaren – BBC Sport

Roberts, right, was at McLaren with Jonathan Neale, left, and Gil de Ferran

Williams have appointed long-time McLaren engineer Simon Roberts to a newly created position as managing director of their Formula 1 team.

Roberts, 57, who joins Williams on 1 June, will oversee the team’s F1 operations, reporting to chief executive officer Mike O’Driscoll.

Deputy team principal Claire Williams said: “Simon will bring enormous experience and knowledge to the team.”

Roberts will be responsible for technical, operations and planning.

His appointment will be seen as a significant step in Williams’ attempts to revive their team after slumping to the worst season in their history last year.

Roberts has most recently been chief operating officer of McLaren, a role to which he was promoted in 2017 after 14 years as their operations director.

He also spent a year seconded to Force India in 2009 as a result of the team’s then technical partnership with McLaren.

Williams have been working on a restructure of their team since the start of last season, the lowest ebb for an outfit that has slid into uncompetitiveness since dominating large parts of the 1980s and 1990s.

Not only was their car not ready for the start of pre-season testing in 2019 but it was nearly two seconds a lap slower than the next slowest car over the season.

Chief technical officer Paddy Lowe left the team in March and Williams have instigated major changes aimed at getting the team back on the right track, including reshaping their design department and undertaking what Claire Williams described as “a full after-action review of the the whole process of designing, build and manufacture and we have left no stone unturned and made the necessary changes where we needed to”.

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