Tag Archives: Sam Michael

Sam Michael to leave for McLaren after Singapore

Sam Michael will depart from Williams after Singapore

Sam Michael will depart from Williams after Singapore

Williams technical director Sam Michael is to leave the team after next weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.

The Grove-based team have endured a horrendous season, possibly their worst in their Formula 1 history, with only 5 points to their name. After much pressure over the last few months, Michael has now stepped down.

He won’t be missing from the paddock for long though. It has also been announced that he will be joining the McLaren team. A team statement has explained that he “will join the senior management team in addition to taking specific responsibility for the development and management of the team’s trackside operations.”

Michael has stated:

"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 
[Hamilton] and Jenson [Button] as grade-one drivers, and therefore regard it as an 
enormous privilege to be able to work with both of them.

Sam had spent 8 years in Formula 1 before joining Williams in 2001. He has been technical director there since 2004.

Tomlinson and Michael make way at Williams while Mike Coughlan returns to F1

Former Ferrari engineer Mike Coughlan has returned to F1

Former Ferrari engineer Mike Coughlan has returned to F1

Today has seen the technical director of Williams, Sam Michael, and chief aerodynamist Jon Tomilson both announce they will be leaving the team at the end of the year.

After a disastrous start to the 2011 season, not scoring a single point in 3 races, and the worst start in the team’s history, Williams have begun a reshuffle of the top heads in the team.

At the same time, the squad has also hired Mike Coughlan, who was banned for two years from F1 for his part in the 2007 “spygate” scandal.

He will join Williams as chief engineer next month.

The following statement has been issued for Michael and Tomlinson:

"Williams F1 today announced that technical director, Sam Michael, and chief 
aerodynamicist, Jon Tomlinson, have resigned from their positions within the company, 
to take effect at the end of 2011.

Both Sam and Jon are talented and driven people who have worked hard for Williams 
over 10 and five years respectively.

Nonetheless, they have recognised that the team’s performance is not at the level 
that it needs to be and have resigned in order to give the team the opportunity to 
regroup and undertake the changes necessary to get back to the front of the grid.

Both will continue to work in their present positions through until the end of the 
year to ensure that the team maintains focus and momentum during the 2011 season.
We are very grateful to Sam and to Jon for their professional approach."

Meanwhile, Coughlan will rejoin the Formula 1 paddock since he was banned in 2007. He was thrown out after he was discovered exchanging confidential information with Ferrari employee Nigel Stepney. The Ferrari engineer claimed that Coughlan had transmitted information about McLaren’s set-up, pit-stops, weight distribution and other details.

However, Williams believe that Coughlan can still contribute to the team:

"Mike Coughlan is a fine engineer with extensive experience across Formula 1 and 
both civil and defence engineering.

He left Formula 1 in 2007 because of conduct which he acknowledges was wrong and 
which he profoundly regrets. His two year ban from the sport expired some time ago 
and Mike is now determined to prove himself again.

Williams is delighted to be able to give him the opportunity to do this and we are 
very pleased to have one of the most talented and competitive engineers in the 
sport helping us to return to the front of the grid. This is the first step in 
re-building and strengthening our technical group. We will announce the next steps 
as they develop."

In 2008 the FIA advised all top level motor sport teams not to hire Stepney “without conducting appropriate due diligence regarding his suitability for involvement in international motor sport”.

Ferrari have refused to comment on this signing, stating “We’ve nothing to comment about other teams’ choices”.

First picture of Williams FW32

Autosport has revealed the first picture of the new Williams FW32. For copyright resaons, I can’t reproduce the photo on this site, but you can view the photo here.

Nico Hulkenberg gave the car a shakedown today, before the F1 tests begin in Valencia on 1st February.

Sam Michael, the Williams technical director, said of the FW32:

“The FW32 is a clean-sheet design from front to back. It’s pretty much brand new from an aerodynamic point of view.”

“The fact that we had a consistent car across all of the tracks in 2009, and wiped out a lot of the vices that we had in the previous car, gives us confidence.”

Rubbish, as far as I can see. The nosecone looks to be higher, and the bargeboards have been hightened. Apart from a revised engine intake vent, it looks exactly the same to me.

Also, this is not the livery that Williams will be using. I’m not sure about the colour scheme, but there will be more sponsor logos on it when the Valencia tests begin.