Claire Williams has said that Rob Smedley must decide where he is most useful amid talk of them Williams head of vehicle performance stepping back from his trackside role.
Smedley's previous role was as race engineer to Felipe Massa at Ferrari. When Massa moved to Williams in 2014, Smedley followed, and he has now spoken of again mirroring his friend's path after the Brazilian announced his retirement.
"I'm thinking that in two or three years I'll want to slow down a little," he said. "For professional reasons, coming to the races is the right thing, but on the personal side, I really miss my family."
The team's deputy team principal Williams recently paid tribute to Smedley.
"Rob has done a great job since he joined the team and I do not expect any changes," she said. "He is an important part of the team, not just as a talented engineer, but also a very passionate person and that is what the team needs."
However, she did admit that his role could change, in light of his recent comments
"We can discuss that with him," she revealed. "He himself has to decide where his technical capacities will be most useful. Someone like Rob wants to progress and do more, and it's not always just associated with work on the track. So we'll see."
"When we started out restructuring, we said we would no longer tolerate our decline in results," team deputy boss Claire Williams said. "Then we had several successful seasons.
"Perhaps this year has forced us to wake up again."
Claire said the Grove based team had already identified the reasons for its problems in 2016 and would implement fixes for 2017.
"I don't want to discuss in detail the causes of our problems, that would be wrong," she insisted. "But I know that we can solve them."
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