Smedley talking to other teams about F1 roles

Senior Williams Formula 1 engineer Rob Smedley says he is determined to remain in the sport after he leaves the team at the end of the 2018 season.

Smedley talking to other teams about F1 roles

Smedley, 44, announced his departure from the struggling team earlier this week, and claims that becoming a free agent has already led to a number of approaches from potential employers.

"I definitely want to stay in Formula 1," he said. "It's my passion and has been all my working life, and it's still the pinnacle of motorsport.

"There's other series, let's say, which are snapping at its heels, but it's still got a lot to offer.

"So I do want to stay in F1 on the technical side, and I'm lucky because I'm already talking to people and that's a fortunate position to be in. Then we'll see."

Smedley's 17-year F1 career began at Jordan, where he initially worked as a data engineer, but it was after he moved to Ferrari in 2004, moving on to become Felipe Massa's race engineer in 2006, that he entered the public consciousness.

He joined Williams in 2014 in a trackside role superintending the team's race operations.

"We've been able to grow and improve it, and hopefully I leave it in a better shape than it was," he said.

"It's a good group now - they've got good knowledge, with a good methodology, and we've brought a lot of science into the way we've used tyres and use the car in general, which enables them to exploit any car that's given to them.

"It's time for a new challenge for me now. Williams has got its own challenge in front of it to come from where it is at the minute.

"I'm going to spend some time at home, first and foremost – I'm going to be with my family, who have supported me for a long time.

"I can be a normal husband, a normal dad, and not going away every two weeks and working until 9 or 10 o'clock in the office every night."

There are a number of options for Smedley beyond working for a race team.

Other senior engineers such as his former boss at Williams, Pat Symonds, and ex-Ferrari design chief Nikolas Tombazis, have senior roles with the FIA and the Formula One Group.

"I would say at this moment in time that I'm not closing off any options." said Smedley. "I'm in a really fortunate position in that people want to talk to me – so, I'm talking.

"There are absolutely no avenues closed off. What I actually need to do, towards the start of next year, is to actually put those options on the table - and, after spending a little bit of time away from it, and being able to look at things with a clearer head, slightly less fatigued, then I'll make a decision.

"But until that point I'll see what the options are as they come in."

shares
comments
Clear to focus on Leclerc in 2019 Ferrari role
Previous article

Clear to focus on Leclerc in 2019 Ferrari role

Next article

Kubica in frame for Williams 2019 seat

Kubica in frame for Williams 2019 seat
Load comments
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021