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.
- grandprix.com - profile
- Williams F1 - profile
- Sam Michael and Jon Tomlinson to leave Williams at end of 2011
- "Sam Michael to become McLaren sporting director after Williams exit". BBC Sport. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
- McLaren Mercedes hires Sam Michael as Sporting Director