Hallam Moves from Formula One to NASCAR and Joins Michael Waltrip Racing CORNELIUS, N.C. (September 20, 2008) -- One of the most decorated engineers in Formula One over the past three decades will join Michael Waltrip Racing this winter as ...
Hallam Moves from Formula One to NASCAR and Joins Michael Waltrip Racing
CORNELIUS, N.C. (September 20, 2008) -- One of the most decorated engineers in Formula One over the past three decades will join Michael Waltrip Racing this winter as Director of Race Engineering for the second-year Toyota team.
Steve Hallam, a 56-year-old Englishman, will leave his post as Head of Race Operations for McLaren Racing and join MWR's NASCAR Sprint Cup operation following the conclusion of the Formula One season.
Hallam has established himself as a respected engineer and manager of the past 27 years in Formula One, participating in 430 Grand Prix, winning five World Championships while working for only two teams: Team Lotus and McLaren Racing.
Among his many accomplishments, Hallam has worked as Race Engineer with such world-class drivers as Nelson Piquet, Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, Michael Andretti, Gerhard Berger, Mika Hakkinen before moving on to become Head of Race Operations. In this role he developed a group of the most capable trackside engineers in Formula One resulting in Lewis Hamilton's current challenge for the Formula One title, a four-time winner this year who is leading the World Championship Driver Point Standings.
"Steve is a remarkable asset for any organization and I'm proud that he is joining ours," said MWR co-owner Michael Waltrip. "He will be in a key position that will both allow him to learn about the NASCAR world while implementing the knowledge he has gained over the past 30 years in Formula One. This is another step that shows our employees, sponsors and all of NASCAR that MWR is serious about our desire to elevate our organization to an elite status in the Sprint Cup garage.
"Steve will galvanize the relationship between MWR and Toyota and ensure all of the tools available will be utilized properly. I'm ecstatic as an owner but maybe more so as a driver because I know I will feel the benefits of his work."
"Michael Waltrip Racing is giving me a wonderful opportunity to enter NASCAR, which is something I have always wanted to experience in my lifetime," Hallam said. "NASCAR racing is invigorating and the spectacle the drivers and teams put on for the fans is phenomenal. I am not underestimating the challenges before me and I know the differences between Formula One and NASCAR are obvious. However, the essence of what we will be doing is the same and that is racing."
Hallam began working as a Development Engineer with Aston Martin in 1975 after graduating from Loughborough University of Technology in Leicestershire, UK. He joined Team Lotus in 1982 as a Race Engineer, working with Team Lotus founder, the late Colin Chapman, and with drivers Nigel Mansell (1982-84), Ayrton Senna (1985-87), Nelson Piquet (1988-89) and Derek Warwick in 1990.
He joined McLaren in 1990 and served as a Race Engineer for seven years. In 1997, Hallam became Head of Race Engineering, a role he served until being named Head of Race Operations in 2007.
"Having participated in over 430 Grand Prix, winning five World Championships, I was ready for a change. What attracted me to Michael Waltrip Racing was the opportunity to work with a young team and, in particular, to be part of the continued development and growth of the multi-car Cup operation as they strive to provide the best equipment and support for their teams," Hallam said. "This is a great opportunity to join a closely knit team who are looking to build success by harnessing Toyota engines and technical support to build cars at a level where we can improve upon the tremendous foundation that has already been built."