Rob Smedley

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Rob Smedley
F1-RobSmedley, Ferrari.jpg
Rob Smedley in Scuderia Ferrari garage
Personal information
Date of birthNovember 28, 1973 (1973-11-28) (age 47)
Place of birthMiddlesbrough, UK
CountryFlag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
SportFormula One
TeamScuderia Ferrari

Rob Smedley (born November 28, 1973) [1] , is the race engineer for Formula One driver Felipe Massa at Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro. Since late nineties he started to work with Peugeot (GT), Williams (GT), Jordan (F1) and finally in Ferrari F1 team.[2]

Biography and career

Born in Middlesbrough, Rob Smedley attended St Peter’s School in South Bank before going to St Mary’s Sixth Form College. He lived in Normanby until he was 18 before going to Loughborough University and beginning his rise through the ranks in motorsport.[3] He initially studied a Degree in Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering, before going onto complete a Masters.[4] With his main field of activity in chassis, he began with Peugeot where he worked as a suspension design engineer for the touring car team. Rob then went on to work in F3000 and the Williams touring Car team before making his first foray into Formula 1 with the Jordan Team. Initially at Jordan, Rob worked as a data acquisition engineer over viewing all of the telemetric data that is used by the team’s race engineer to support the racing driver. Back in 2001 this was a very hands on job where the engineers could engage in pioneering work on car control systems (such as traction control, launch control, etc) and something that Rob enjoyed immensely. He later went on during 2002 and 2003 to be a track engineer for Jordan, before moving to the Ferrari test team at the end of the 2003 Formula1 season. Rob initially chose to work on the Ferrari test team because of the possibility to make more technical input, something which is more limited in the race team. In mid 2006 season, he was replaced with (Gabriele Delli Colli) as Felipe Massa's race engineer. Almost immediately Massa’s form took an upswing and the incidents became less common,[5] until August 2006 when Massa took his first pole position and his first F1 win at the 2006 Turkish Grand Prix, at the Istanbul Park circuit . When Massa headed to last race of the 2008 season in Brazil as a championship rival to Lewis Hamilton , it was generally admitted that Rob Smedley was the man who has transformed Felipe Massa from being a hot-headed also-ran into a genuine threat to Hamilton's title dream in the decisive Brazilian Grand Prix.[6]

Career summary

  • 1997-1998 : designer > Peugeot (GT)
  • 1999 : engineer in the test team – Williams (GT)
  • 2000 : track engineer in F3000
  • 2001 : data acquisition engineer > Jordan (F1)
  • 2002-2003 : track engineer > Jordan (F1)
  • 2004-2005 : engineer in the test team > Ferrari (F1)
  • 2006-2009 : track engineer > Ferrari (F1)


  • Felipe Massa has said on more than one occasion that he wouldn’t part with Rob Smedley as his race engineer for all the money in the world and that he is worth his weight in gold.
  • In the transmitted radio messages Rob has a lot of affection for Felipe to nicknaming him Sunshine! Rob’s radio transmissions have even achieved cult status, with many Ferrari fans putting his messages on their mobile phones as ringtones! Rob Smedley is a very popular member of the Ferrari team and with the Tifosi as well.
  • At the end of the 2008 Brazilian GP when the race winner Massa lost the world championship title in the last corner of the last lap- as rival Lewis Hamilton who needed to finish fifth, passed Timo Glock in Mergulho turn, 18 seconds before passing the finish line fifth and win the title- German broadcaster Premiere TV pictured Rob Smedley weeping tears at Ferrari pit gantry.