Sam Michael set to become McLaren sporting director

Williams technical director to join McLaren as the team's new sporting director from next season

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Michael will join McLaren from next season Photo: Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic

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Outgoing Williams technical director Sam Michael will join McLaren as the team’s new sporting director from the start of the 2012 season.

The Australian started his Grand Prix career with Team Lotus in 1993 before joining Jordan Grand Prix in 1995.

He then moved to Williams in 2001 as chief operations engineer, becoming the team’s technical director in 2004 and a company director in 2008.

“I’m extremely excited to be joining Vodafone McLaren Mercedes,” said Michael. “They are 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 Williams, have many fond memories, and truly wish them all the best.”

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh added: “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 all of Formula 1.”

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