Michael ready to review Williams role

Williams technical director Sam Michael says that changes 'will' be made to the organisation to turn around its disappointing start to the season - and he has not ruled out moving to a different role or leaving the outfit totally if that is what is needed

Michael ready to review Williams role

The former title-winning outfit is enduring the worst start to a season in its Formula 1 history, with neither Rubens Barrichello nor Pastor Maldonado having scored a point in the first three races of the campaign.

And although the team is optimistic that a major upgrade package for the Turkish Grand Prix will improve its fortunes, Michael says that lessons from what has happened will be taken on board and an overhaul of its structure will take place over the next few weeks.

"I think the job that we have done this year clearly is not good enough," Michael told AUTOSPORT.

"There are lots of different reasons why. But either way, whatever team you are, I can easily see that where we are at the moment is not good enough and that falls down to me. So, we are currently reviewing that inside Williams - I am contributing to that and I am happy to do what the team wants me to do, to an extent.

"What I would not be happy with doing would be not changing anything - even myself. Even if everyone said everything is perfect, I know it is not. So, I am not happy with the job that we have done as a group. I would review that anyway - including myself. I don't exclude myself from any of that.

"I, as technical director, have chosen the technical team that works for me - the aero team, the design team, the operations group, the vehicle dynamics, the KERS guys. They are all people that I have chosen to put in those positions, so if it doesn't work then it is my responsibility. That is what we are in the middle of at the moment."

When asked if the comments about his own personal role meant he was eyeing a change of responsibilities, Michael said: "I don't know yet. We haven't really finalised that, and it will come down to what the team wants really. And myself as well - and what I think is best for the team.

"Obviously the team has to decide what it wants for itself and I will be part of that process, and then also I have to make a decision whether I think that is good for the team in terms of whatever I do."

He added: "We all have contracts and I have a contract until the end of this season anyway. So regardless of what happened - whether any restructuring meant that I left Williams or not, I would not leave Williams before the end of the year because I will stick to my contract.

"But in terms of going through that process, I am pretty open-minded at the moment. But open-minded to the extent that we have to make some big changes, because what we have got at the moment going on is not working and it needs change."

Although keen to push on with a restructuring - which could also extend to senior management and would likely involve not only a reshuffling of staff but also the possible recruitment from outside - Michael says he is actually upbeat about what the team has in the pipeline for the next few races.

"Things can change very quickly in this sport," he said. "You would never have thought at the last Barcelona test that McLaren were going to win a grand prix in the next month, and they have done.

"It is because there has been a big change of rules, and there are a lot of different designs out there in terms of exhaust systems and rear wings. As they gravitate towards each other over the next couple of races, it will make a difference. So I am pretty hopeful."

shares
comments
Weekend review and results round-up
Previous article

Weekend review and results round-up

Next article

Q & A: Michael on Williams's situation

Q & A: Michael on Williams's situation
Load comments
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Plus

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Autosport heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022