Rob Smedley 'in talks' to continue in F1 following Williams exit
Williams Head of Performance Engineering Rob Smedley says he isn't turning his back on Formula 1 following confirmation of his resignation.
Smedley announced last week that he would be leaving Williams following the conclusion of the 2018 season, having spent five years with the British outfit, witnessing its resurgence and its recent decline.
The Briton said the decision was partly motivated by the desire to spend more time with his family, leading some to suggest he could exit the sport, but Smedley insisted that isn't the case and he's very much looking forward to the next chapter in his F1 career.
"I definitely want to stay in Formula 1," he said. "Formula 1 is my passion. It has been all my working life that I’ve been in Formula 1 and it’s still the pinnacle of motorsport.
"There are other series that are snapping at its heels but it’s still got a lot to offer. We’re working on it all the time, it’s not the complete package. It has so much more potential than what you actually see. So yeah, I do want to stay in Formula 1 on the technical side."
Smedley confirmed that he is already in talks to continue in the sport, but will likely need to complete a lengthy period of gardening leave before joining a rival team.
"I’m lucky, because I’m already talking to people and that’s a fortunate position to be in and we’ll just see where everything takes us."
The 44-year-old's F1 career began in 2001 when he joined Jordan Grand Prix as a data acquisition engineer before being promoted to track engineer. In 2004 he joined Scuderia Ferrari as a test team engineer, which, after two years led to him moving up to the race team to become Felipe Massa's race engineer.
The pair became good friends and spent eight years together before Massa announced a switch to Williams for the 2014 season. Smedley followed the Brazilian and remained at Williams when Massa retired at the end of the 2017 season.