Head calls Smedley’s Force India criticism “out of order”
Rob Smedley was “out of order” in his criticism of the Force India team following Sergio Perez’s clash with Felipe Massa during the final lap of the Canadian Grand Prix according to Williams co-founder Patrick Head.
Head, who stepped down from his role as Williams’ Director of Engineering in 2012, disagreed with the nature of Smedley’s comments made after the race which suggested that Force India had been at fault for the accident that put both Perez and Massa out of the race on the final lap of the grand prix, the Mexican reportedly running with brake issues at the time.
“That says to me that it is a fairly f*****g terminal problem, to be honest,” said Smedley, on the nature of Perez’s brake issues. “Why you then leave a car out when you’ve got that sort of problem is a little bit beyond me.”
Smedley’s criticism prompted a response from Perez, who insisted that his car was “perfectly drivable,” while Force India issued a statement via Twitter that read: “We’re not used to air our grievances publicly. But when others do and accuse us of playing with others’ safety, we are compelled to reply.”
While Head admitted that Smedley’s comments had been inappropriate, he noted that they were evidently motivated by frustration and disappointment at more dropped points, in a season which the former boss believes the team has underachieved.
“Any team that starts fourth and fifth on the grid, if you finish with one car seventh you are going to be very disappointed,” Head told Sky Sports F1.
“I saw that Rob Smedley, the operations manager, had criticised Force India, which I think was a bit out of order. But it told me that he was massively disappointed after the race, and I think they would be and should be.
“I hope there will be other chances [to win] going forward, but it [Canada] was certainly a very good opportunity.
“Williams have really not achieved what the car is capable of this year, and they know that. Here was another event where that happened.
“It’s something I’m sure they will put right, but you want to walk away with a lot of points and those are missing a bit at the moment.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic
Dan Paddock is an FIA accredited freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist and the Grand Prix Editor of Richland F1. Dan joined the site in July 2013 as a Staff Writer, fresh off the back of completing a master’s degree in journalism. Following a promotion, Dan has since gone on to represent Richland F1 at four grands prix. Aside from Richland F1, Dan also writes for Rumble Strip News, as well as maintaining his own modest blog.