In this series of posts I’ve looked at the careers of each of the race engineers who will line up for the 2013 Formula 1 season(See parts 1, 2, & 3 here). These 22 men are the cream of the crop of race engineers in motorsport, but in this final post we look at the very best, or at least the most successful in terms of points finishes from last season, Ferrari and Red Bull.
Race Engineer for car 4 – FELIPE MASSA
Nationality : BRITISH
Age : 39
Rob Smedley is one of the most familiar characters of the F1 race engineers. He has reached something of a cult status amongst F1 fans for his uniquely close relationship with Felipe Massa and for some of the radio conversations they have had in recent seasons. It’s well worth looking up on you tube if you haven’t heard some of them.
Rob studied Mechanical Engineering at Loughborough University, before going on to do a Masters degree. He began his working career in touring cars, first at Peugeot then at the Williams Renault team before entering F1 with Jordan. He finally joined Ferrari in 2003 as a track engineer on their test team. He has been Felipe Massa’s race engineer since 2006.
Race Engineer for car 3 – FERNANDO ALONSO
Nationality : ITALIAN
Age : 41
Andrea has a long career history with Ferrari having joined the team in 2000. He first moved on to the race team to be performance engineer for Michael Schumacher, enjoying a number of wins and world championships. He was also data engineer when Kimi Raikonnen won his world championship in 2007. He was promoted to race engineer in 2009 and began working with Alonso in 2010.
Andrea has a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Rome.
Race Engineer for car 2 – MARK WEBBER
Nationality : BRITISH
Age : 33
Simon is new to the Red Bull Racing team this year having previously been a track engineer at Lotus. He is now famous for being on the receiving end of Kimi Raikonnen’s angry “Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing” radio message
Simon started at the Renault F1 team in 2004, acting as a data engineer through the Alonso world championship winning years of 2005 & 2006 with Rod Nelson. He was finally promoted to race engineer during Alonso’s second stint at Renault in 2009 and was initially implicated in the infamous crashgate scandal involving Nelson Piquet Jnr. He subsequently engineered Robert Kubica, Nick Heidfeld and Raikonnen before leaving for Red Bull at the end of 2012.
Race Engineer for car 1 – SEBASTIEN VETTEL
Nationality : FRENCH
Age : 41
Guillaume or “Rocky” as he is generally referred to at Red Bull, studied engineering at École Polytechnique de Grenoble. He began his serious motor racing career in America however, working as a track engineer in CART / IndyCar racing for PacWest with Mark Blundell and then later at Newman-Haas.
After initially believing that he would not ever make it back to Formula 1, Rocky has now won 3 world championships in a row and his team and driver are tipped as favourites again for the 2013 season.
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