29 April 1971|
Samuel David "Sam" Michael (born 29 April 1971) is sporting director at McLaren, a Formula One constructor. He was born in Western Australia and grew up in Canberra. After studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of New South Wales with a thesis on data acquisition systems for racing cars, he worked with the Formula Holden team. The team owner, Gregg Siddle, employed him on a part-time basis so that Michael could continue his studies.
He was recruited by Lotus in 1993. After Team Lotus went bankrupt in 1994 Gary Anderson, the chief designer at Jordan Grand Prix, took Michael on. He established the team's research and development department. He spent two years working in the Jordan factory on data acquisition. He also installed a seven-post rig for simulating suspension movement and designing an active differential.
In 1997, Michael joined the Jordan test team. In 1998 he was promoted to race engineer for Ralf Schumacher. When the German departed to go to Williams in 1999, Michael inherited Heinz-Harald Frentzen. The Michael/Frentzen partnership was successful, resulting in a win at the French Grand Prix at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, and then again at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
In 2001, Sir Frank Williams brought Michael to Williams as Senior Operations Engineer. He took over the responsibility of managing the engineers at races and tests.
Following the worst start to a season in Williams' history, Michael resigned from the team in early May 2011. For the final five races he joined McLaren but did not become their sporting director until the start of 2012.
Martin Whitmarsh was removed from CEO position from the whole of McLaren Group in 2014 and replaced with his predecessor, Ron Dennis. Michael also said he would no longer continue and not be sporting director for McLaren as he was moving back to Western Australia from his home near the teams base (McLaren Technology Centre) with his family.
- "Profile". Grandprix.com. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
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- "Sam Michael and Jon Tomlinson to leave Williams at end of 2011". F1 Fanatic. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- "Sam Michael to become McLaren sporting director after Williams exit". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "McLaren Mercedes hires Sam Michael as Sporting Director". Mclaren.com. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- "European Grand Prix 2012: it's the pits for McLaren and Lewis Hamilton after another costly error in Valencia". Telegraph.co.uk. 24 June 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- "Martin Whitmarsh defends Sam Michael's job at McLaren F1 team". AUTOSPORT.com. 4 July 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2014.