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Williams bolsters aero department with ex-Lotus/Red Bull hires

Dec 9, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT

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Williams has continued its efforts to emerge from the back of the Formula One grid with a pair of new technical hires that are making their way to Grove from two of F1′s top teams.

Former Lotus member Dave Wheater has come on board as Williams’ new head of aerodynamic performance, while former Red Bull Racing member Shaun Whitehead joins as head of aerodynamic process.

Since the addition of Pat Symonds as chief technical officer this past summer, Williams has been steadily rebuilding, an endeavor that has included the signing of former Ferrari stalwart Felipe Massa as one of its two drivers for 2014 (the other being sophomore-to-be Valtteri Bottas).

Now, Symonds hopes that Wheater and Whitehead can help Williams make the most of next year’s new technical regulations and move the team up the running order.

“These two appointments show our commitment to both improving the process of aerodynamic development while focussing on the application of that development to true on-track performance,” Symonds said in a team statement.

“Dave and Shaun bring a wealth of experience to our team and I welcome them both to Grove and fully expect them to make significant contributions to the renewed competitiveness that we are all working so hard to achieve.

“With Dave and Shaun on board, and under Jason’s stewardship, we will be well positioned to make gains in this important area and support the continuing task of developing the FW36 in what promises to be an exciting year for the sport in 2014.”

Both Wheater and Whitehead will report to Williams’ head of aerodynamics, Jason Somerville, who said in his own thoughts that he was pleased to have them on the team – regarding them as “first class talents” that have “enviable track records within F1.”

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