Sven Smeets, ex-co-driver of Freddy Loix, gets a key role in Formula 1 at British racing stable Williams
Williams F1 team principal Jost Capito has once again brought one of his former confidants at Volkswagen Motorsport to the British racing stable. This time it concerns Limburger Sven Smeets (49), who will become sporting director there.
At the end of the 1990s, Smeets made a career as co-driver of Freddy Loix in the World Rally Championship. After ten seasons at the side of his Limburg fellow Limburg, Smeets briefly came in on the side of François Duval in 2005, and promptly won the Rally of Australia.
Even after his sporting career, Smeets remained active in motorsport. First as team manager at Citroën Racing and for the Le Mans program Peugeot Sport, from 2012 at Volkswagen Motorsport. There he worked with current Williams team boss Capito, and when he moved to McLaren F1, he took over his role as head of Volkswagen Motorsport. He has now been snatched away by Capito.
Smeets will act as sporting director primarily concerned with the sporting relations between Williams F1 and the FIA motoring federation. During the grand prix, that will probably translate into communication with race director Michael Masi. Furthermore, Smeets will also take care of the young talents in the Williams Racing Driver Academy.
Smeets is already the third ex-VW man to lure Capito to Williams. Technical director François-Xavier Demaison and consultant Willy Rampf were also active at the German manufacturer. The rumors that Volkswagen wants to set up an F1 team are getting stronger and stronger. (gf)