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Motor racing: Roberts joins Williams F1 from McLaren as managing director

FILE PHOTO: McLaren Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain and team member Simon Roberts celebrate winning the German F1 Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring circuit July 24, 2011. REUTERS/Thomas Bohlen/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - The Williams Formula One team appointed former McLaren chief operations officer Simon Roberts on Monday to the newly-created position of managing director.

Roberts, 57, will join on June 1 and take responsibility for the struggling team’s technical, operations and planning functions.

Once-dominant former champions Williams have been among the backmarkers in recent seasons, finishing last overall in 2018 and 2019.

Williams’ most recent campaign, with just one point from 21 races, was their worst yet.

They parted company with former technical director Paddy Lowe in June last year after he had gone on a ‘leave of absence’ in March.

Roberts spent 2009 seconded from McLaren to what was the Force India team, now competing as Racing Point, as Chief Operating Officer before returning to Woking.

The 2020 season has yet to start due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Williams’ drivers are Briton George Russell and Canadian rookie Nicholas Latifi.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Ken Ferris