Smedley takes a step back from F1

© XPB 

Williams' Rob Smedley has vowed to take a step back from the thrills and spills of Formula 1 for the next couple of seasons following a 20-year stint in the sport.

Smedley's need to lighten up his schedule coincides with the retirement of Felipe Massa with whom the British engineer has enjoyed a fruitful working relationship that started in 2006 at Ferrari.

Williams head of vehicle performance denies however any causal relationship with the Brazilian's departure from F1.

"My decision has nothing to do with the choice Felipe is making," Smedley insisted.

" I’m traveling the world now for 20 years, from and to every race, and that’s quite a long time. For that reason I think I’ll be putting the brakes on for two or three years.

"From a professional point of view it is, of course, necessary to go to every race. But on the other hand, I miss my family.

"And I’ll still be a part of F1 and Williams. I made a commitment to help them with the rebuilding toward new success, but that doesn’t mean I have to be at every single race."

The 42-year-old admitted knowing about Massa's decision since last summer, and fully understands it.

"I’m happy that Felipe doesn’t ascend down the order and gets demoted from one backmarker to another.

"And even when I love him very much, I think his family supports his decision. His mom and dad and his wife are very good people who’ll enjoy Felipe more now, as a son, a husband, a father. I have to say I knew about his decision for a longer time then most…"

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