Sam Michael

The Williams team has confirmed that outgoing technical director Sam Michael will make his swansong appearance at the Korean Grand Prix, before he makes way for his replacement.

The Australian quit his post earlier this year after the team’s worst start to a championship season in its history as a constructor. Since taking over from Patrick Head in 2004, Michael has been at the helm of the team’s longest ever winless streak, which has also seen the outfit lose a works engine partner in BMW, and a host of bluechip sponsors as the team’s form continued to slide.

With the team having signed new technical figures (such as former McLaren designer Mike Coughlan), the handover process can now begin, as Michael explains.

“Most technical directors travel to races, but the structure that Williams is going for is not having a travelling technical director,” he explained.

“There will be a chief operations engineer in Mark Gillan, so he is going to come to Japan and Korea, and be in the background to see how I operate for those two races. Then he will take over from there.”

Michael is contracted to Williams until March 1 next year, but it is unclear if he will remain in a factory-based role during this time, or be placed on ‘gardening leave’.

He has been linked with moves to other teams – most notably Force India – but he insists that his future in motorsport “is still open”.

Meanwhile, Ferrari has also confirmed it has dispensed with the services of its former technical director Aldo Costa, who resigned (read: was forced) from his post in the lead up to the Monaco Grand Prix following Ferrari’s poor start to the championship season.

[Image via LAT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.