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Williams sign Ferrari tyre specialist in bid to boost 2016 showing

09 Sep 2016

As they continue their battle with Force India for fourth place in the constructors’ championship, Williams have added Antonio Spagnolo, former Head of Tyre Performance Group with Ferrari, to their engineering line-up, in an effort to bolster the team’s performance for the remainder of the 2016 season and beyond.

Spagnolo joins Williams’ Operations Group as Competitor Analysis and Performance Concept Team Leader, a role focused on augmenting car performance. He will concentrate on understanding competitors’ strengths and identifying areas of performance which require prioritisation of resources.

“Williams is determined to continue the positive momentum it has had since 2014 and, with new additions to the team, hopes to become even stronger,” commented Pat Symonds, Williams’ Chief Technical Officer.

“We are constantly seeing ways to improve our performance and trackside operations and believe Antonio will make a valuable contribution to this process."

In view of his previous role at Ferrari, Spagnolo’s considerable experience will be brought to bear in guiding Williams’ restructured Tyre Performance Group to better understand and exploit both theoretical and practical aspects of tyre performance.

The Italian, who will report to Head of Performance Engineering, Rob Smedley, has held various roles with Ferrari, including Race and Performance Engineer to Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso respectively. He has been with the Scuderia since 2005, during which time the team won two constructors’ titles, in 2007 and ’08, and the ’07 drivers’ title with Raikkonen.

Williams dropped to fifth in the standings at last month's Belgian Grand Prix, but recovered the place from Force India in Monza last weekend. The rivals are now separated by just three points, 111 to 108.