Former Ferrari race engineer Rob Smedley says Fernando Alonso is "not disruptive at all" after being left surprised by his departure from Ferrari.

Alonso's exit has yet to be made official from the team but former Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo confirmed the news on Wednesday. Smedley - now head of vehicle performance at Williams - was race engineer to Felipe Massa while he was Alonso's Ferrari team-mate from 2010-2013 and says the Spaniard is not a difficult driver to work with.

"No, no, he's not disruptive at all," Smedley said. "I think he's pretty coherent in his views and he knows what he wants, but most people who are very good at their job do and I think that's a strength as well. He doesn't waver from what he wants, he's mentally very strong, able to adapt to whatever the regulations are; he'll get on top of it and he'll ring 100% out of the car, if not more. I think he tends to amalgamate people just because of how good he is."

And Smedley admits he is surprised by the movement at Ferrari which is set to see Sebastian Vettel replace Alonso next season.

"I have often gone on record as saying I think Fernando is the very best driver of his generation. I'm a massive fan of his, I would go as far to say if not ever, he's that good. He brings so much performance to the team. I am very much surprised that they've parted ways. It was obviously a mutual agreement, or disagreement, whatever you want to call it.

"So I am a little bit surprised but that's their business. I hope - for the sport really - that he finds a top seat. I would echo his ambitions as well that I hope he does get another couple of championships under his belt before he retires because he deserves it, he's that good."

Smedley also believes that many of the Ferrari team were motivated to perform to their best by having someone of Alonso's ability driving for them.

"I think by pure proxy of his talent he tends to motivate people. When you're at the absolute top of your game, when there's not many people who can come near you that's just motivation in itself. If you're very excellent at what you do, in whatever walk of life or guise within Formula One - be it driver, engineer, technician, anything - I think if you work with people with very, very high talent, what it does is forces everyone around you to raise their game as well. I think that's where the motivation of working with Fernando comes from."