In a shuffle of management personnel, Williams has confirmed that Patrick Head is now director of engineering and Sam Michael, previously chief operations engineer, will take over Head's position of technical director. Company director and ...
In a shuffle of management personnel, Williams has confirmed that Patrick Head is now director of engineering and Sam Michael, previously chief operations engineer, will take over Head's position of technical director. Company director and shareholder Head will now focus his work on long-term concerns such as the changes anticipated in technical regulations for the future. He takes overall responsibility for the engineering department.
"For clarity, I am retaining my day to day executive involvement and equity holding in WilliamsF1," said Head in a statement from the team. "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."
"Formula One is a very complex organisational activity incorporating research, development and operations, and this new structure will help optimise our activities in all these key areas. This will be an immense challenge for Sam, but Frank and I intend to provide him with the authority to achieve his tasks while providing the support I can from my own experience, and my position as a director of the company."
As technical director, Sam Michael will now be responsible for design, development and "deployment" of the racecars. "Naturally, I am extremely pleased to have been given such a positive vote of confidence with the appointment to the position of Technical Director," said Michael.
"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 organisation and the level of competition in Formula One that we organise ourselves in a smarter fashion."
Williams also announced the commencement of operations at its second wind tunnel and a joint management programme with engine partner BMW. "When we decided to extend our partnership last year, we agreed that one objective would be to bind both parties into a single entity," said BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen.
"This doesn't happen overnight, of course, it's a process that requires some time. The new personnel re-organisation at WilliamsF1 is a significant step towards this target, because to be a winning team in Formula One, you must have depth and stability in technical management."