Michael promoted at Williams

Sam Michael, formerly Williams' chief operations engineer, has been promoted to the role of Technical Director of the Grove outfit, with Patrick Head moving into a wider role as the team's new Director of Engineering

Michael promoted at Williams

The changes mean that Michael, 33, will assume responsibility for the design, development and running of the outfit's race cars. Meanwhile Head will move away from the daily technical operation of the team, and will instead focus on the 'long-view technical strategy' addressing issues such as the planned technical regulation changes and the development of advanced technologies.

"For clarity, I am retaining my day to day executive involvement and equity holding in WilliamsF1," said Head. "This is not a prelude to retirement. When Adrian Newey joined us in 1990, I moved from Chief Designer to Technical Director, and now I think the time and opportunity is right to make a further change. I will be supporting Sam fully in his new role and I expect to be no less busy with the new challenges I have set myself."

Michael said: "Naturally, I am extremely pleased to have been given such a positive vote of confidence with the appointment to the position of Technical Director. I share Patrick's view that this division of responsibilities will free Patrick to take on an important strategic role, and the timing allows me to take charge of the progression of the FW27 from the outset.

"I think it is obvious given the growth in complexity of the technical processes, our organization and the level of competition in Formula 1 that we organize ourselves in such a fashion."

Meanwhile, Williams' new full-size wind tunnel has recently come on stream. The full-size facility features a model management system allowing the team to provide yaw, pitch, heave, roll, steer and cross wind simulation.

William chief aerodynamicist Antonio Terzi said: "We are already seeing accuracy improvements of 30 percent, and this degree of accuracy will make it easier to precisely confirm and quickly incorporate aero developments into the race car's continuous evolution."

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