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Sam Michael to join McLaren as sporting director 13 Sep 2011

Sam Michael (AUS) Williams Technical Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, British Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Silverstone, England, Saturday, 10 July 2010 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/26.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 9 September 2011 (L to R): Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Williams with Sam Michael (AUS) Williams Technical Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 25 March 2011 Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Williams FW33 with a damaged front wing. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 11 September 2011 Martin Whitmarsh (GBR) McLaren Chief Executive Officer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race Day, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 11 September 2011 Frank Williams (GBR) Williams Team Owner with Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Williams. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 29 July 2011

Sam Michael will join McLaren as sporting director from 2012 onwards, it was announced on Tuesday. Michael resigned from his current post as Williams’ technical director in May and his last race with the British team will be the forthcoming Singapore event later this month.

“I’m extremely excited to be joining Vodafone McLaren Mercedes,” said Michael. “Being a racer my whole life, I know that McLaren is one of the all-time greats of Formula One. I already know and respect many of the team’s senior technical management figures, and becoming a member of that excellent working unit was one of the prime attractions of this new position.

“Equally, for some time I’ve closely observed and greatly admired both Lewis and Jenson as grade-one drivers, and therefore regard it as an enormous privilege to be able to work with both of them. I’ve spent 11 seasons with Williams, have many fond memories, and truly wish them all the best.

“In the near future, however, I will become 100 per cent focused on McLaren, and will be aiming to ensure that the team’s famous rocket-red victory T-shirts will be seen many times over the coming years.”

Michael started his Grand Prix career with Team Lotus in 1993 and joined Jordan Grand Prix in 1995, where he established the team’s R&D group before progressing into a senior race engineering role. In 2001 he joined Williams as chief operations engineer, becoming the team’s technical director in 2004.

“Speaking on behalf of everyone at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, I’m very pleased to welcome Sam as an important senior addition to our race team,” said McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh. “He’ll bring a very valuable blend of experience and expertise to our pit wall, and will also enrich the technical management we provide for our drivers.

“I’m certain he’ll work extremely well with our senior technical management team, which I firmly believe will now become the strongest in all of Formula One.”

Frank Williams, founder and team principal of Williams, added: "I am delighted that Sam has found a new role that will enable him to continue to apply his energy, passion and experience to Formula One. On behalf of everyone at Williams I wish him a successful move to his new team.

"I would also like to thank Sam for his help in enabling a swift and smooth transition to our new technical leadership. Mike Coughlan and Jason Somerville are settling in very well and the restructuring will be complete when Mark Gillan joins us as chief operations engineer on 19 September."

As McLaren’s sporting director, Michael will join the senior management team in addition to taking specific responsibility for the development and management of the team’s trackside operations. It is hoped his vast experience and profound understanding of race operations will enhance the team’s on-track capability.

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