Sam Michael to join McLaren!

Sam Michael will join McLaren as Sporting Director from 2012.

Michael, 40, resigned his position as Williams technical director earlier this year after taking the role in 2004. He has 18 continuous years experience in the F1 paddock having started his career with Jordan, where he established the team's R&D group before progressing into a senior race-engineering role.

As Sporting Director, Michael will join McLaren's senior management team in addition to taking specific responsibility for the development and management of the team's trackside operations, adding to the team's strength-in-depth which already boasts Paddy Lowe and Tim Goss, among others.

"I'm extremely excited to be joining Vodafone McLaren Mercedes," Michael said. "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."

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: "Speaking on behalf of everyone, I'm very pleased to welcome Sam as an important senior addition to our race team.

"He'll bring a very valuable blend of experience and expertise to our pitwall, 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 Formula 1."

Frank Williams commented on the move, "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."

FF

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