WILLIAMS have appointed experienced engineer Simon Roberts to become the managing director of their Formula 1 team.

It is a newly-created position by the Grove-based outfit, who are restructuring following a miserable 2019 when they scored just one point.

Roberts, who first became involved in Formula 1 with McLaren 17 years ago, will oversee design, operations and planning from June 1.

Claire Williams, deputy team principal at Williams, said: “Simon will bring enormous experience and knowledge to the Williams team, and we are delighted that he is joining us when we head back to work after this long enforced F1 shutdown."

Other than being seconded to Force India for the 2009 season, Roberts has worked in a variety of roles for McLaren since 2003.

Most recently he was appointed chief operations officer three years ago, where he had responsibility for engineering and factory operations.

The team has a number of staff on furlough and senior management have joined drivers George Russell and Nicholas Latifi in taking pay-cuts while racing is suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Formula 1 is hoping to be able to begin the 2020 season in July and is looking at plans to host back-to-back races at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.