McLaren's ongoing pit stop woes are putting Sam Michael under the pump

Sam Michael is reportedly under fire as the McLaren team’s pit stop woes continue for yet another race weekend.

The Australian was forced out quit his post as Williams’ long-standing Technical Director before the end of last season as part of the team’s major restructure, taking up a position as McLaren’s Sporting Director.

Sam MichaelBut his new role has been difficult to say the least, with the team hit by recurring problems during the all-important pit stops, an area that falls under Michael’s responsibility.

Following a spate of sticky wheel nuts incidents, the latest disaster hit last weekend at Valencia, with Lewis Hamilton losing crucial places during a 14-second pit stop when his front jack failed. The delay arguably cost him a shot at becoming the first two-time winner of the 2012 season, an honour that instead went to former team-mate Fernando Alonso, who claimed a popular win on the street circuit.

The Grand Prix Diary website observed on its Twitter feed: “McLaren were brilliant and Williams were rubbish. Then Sam Michael changed teams.”

The Telegraph newspaper’s leading F1 columnist, Tom Cary, also noted: “[Michael] is coming under sustained fire” for the McLaren team’s pit stop problems.

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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.