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Sam Michael joins McLaren

NEWS STORY
13/09/2011

McLaren has announced that Sam Michael will join the team as Sporting Director from the 2012 season onwards.

With 18 continuous years in the industry, Michael is a hugely experienced Formula 1 professional. After starting his Grand Prix career with Team Lotus in 1993, he 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 WilliamsF1 as Chief Operations Engineer, becoming the team's Technical Director in 2004 and a company director in 2008.

As McLaren's Sporting Director, Sam will join the senior management team in addition to taking specific responsibility for the development and management of the team's trackside operations. His vast experience and profound understanding of race operations will enhance the team's on-track capability, adding significantly to its already impressive technical management strength-in-depth.

"I'm extremely excited to be joining Vodafone McLaren Mercedes," said the Australian. "Being a racer my whole life, I know that McLaren is one of the all-time greats of Formula 1.

"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 WilliamsF1, have many fond memories, and truly wish them all the best. In the near future, however, I will become 100 per cent focused on Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, 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."

"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 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 1."

"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," said Frank Williams. "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."

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