Williams has recruited Simon Roberts from McLaren to become its F1 Managing Director, responsible for the F1 Technical, Operations and Planning functions.
Roberts has experience as a Chief Operating Officer at McLaren and Force India and will enter the Williams leadership group, reporting directly to CEO Mike O’Driscoll.
He’s worked in F1 since 2003, and will join Williams on the 1st June as the team looks to restart development on the FW43, which showed a marked improvement from last year’s car at Barcelona testing.
The team’s Deputy Team Principal, Claire Williams, said: “Simon will bring enormous experience and knowledge to the Williams team, and we are delighted that he is joining us when we head back to work after this long enforced F1 shutdown.
He will lead a highly talented team that’s looking forward to designing and developing the next generation of Williams F1 cars.”
Before entering F1, Roberts started his career at Perkins engines and also worked at BMW/Rover Group and Alstom Group in operational roles, before he was appointed Operations Director and General Manager.
After six years there, including helping the team to their most recent driver’s championship with Lewis Hamilton in 2008, he moved to Force India for the 2009 season, where he was responsible for all team operations from car concept through to the track. The VJM02 that year scored 13 points with the highlight being a pole position and second place at Spa.
Roberts returned to Woking for the 2010 season as Operations Director, and was also promoted to the Executive team. Following a promotion to Chief Operating Officer (the same post he’d held at Force India), he took on responsibility for engineering and factory operations.
McLaren has improved on their constructor’s championship position every year since, culminating in a podium for Carlos Sainz at last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
At Williams Roberts will strengthen the F1 leadership team and take overall responsibility for the design and development process, racing, factory operations and planning.