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DATE News (chronologically)
04/19/11
f1
Reports say Sam Michael could get the axe UPDATE #2
Sam Michael could get the axe
(GMM)  Sam Michael has admitted he could lose his job as Williams restructures following the famous British team's worst start to a season since 1979.

In China last weekend for the third round of the 2011 championship, the Oxfordshire based team's chairman Adam Parr refused to deny speculation Williams' Australian technical director Michael, 39, faces the axe.

"If Sam thought that the right thing for the team is for him to stop, he'd stop tomorrow.  He will do whatever is necessary for the team," he said.

thenational.ae quotes Michael as admitting that Williams' current situation is not tenable.

"What I would not be happy with doing would be not changing anything -- even myself," he said.

Until then, Michael's current contract runs for the rest of the season, so his focus for now is reintroducing for Barcelona the Red Bull-style exhaust system that did not work when tested in Shanghai.

And a major upgrade package is scheduled for Turkey.

"We are introducing a modified floor, new front wing, new rear wing and new brake ducts to both cars," said Michael.  "We expect this to give us a few tenths to help our drivers get into the top ten."

04/17/11 (GMM)  Williams chairman Adam Parr on Sunday refused to deny speculation the struggling team might oust its technical director Sam Michael.

The famous Grove-based squad has had a difficult start to the 2011 championship and Parr told Reuters the main problems are in the technical areas.

"If Sam thought that the right thing for the team is for him to stop, he'd stop tomorrow.  He wouldn't even quibble.  He will do whatever is necessary for the team," he said.

Parr admitted that Williams "will be changing things" in the near future and said only organizational restructuring is not enough.

"You can't change what we are doing without changing people," he said, admitting that some of the decisions will be "tough".

Rubens Barrichello's FW33 was fitted with a Red Bull-style exhaust earlier in Shanghai but it was removed for qualifying.

"There are other areas (too) where we've just not been smart enough," said Parr.  "We're not lacking in creativity or ambition but it's not enough.

"There are other people who are being more creative and more ambitious," he added.

04/14/11 (GMM)  Sam Michael could be the victim of moves to restructure Williams, following a bad start to 2011 for the famous British team.

The FW33 was not quick or reliable in Melbourne and Sepang recently, moving chairman Adam Parr to announce a process to improve Oxfordshire-based Williams.

"We will be looking not only at how to address the short-term issues, we will be working together to strengthen the team for 2012 and beyond," he said.

"Every aspect will be reviewed, nothing is sacred, but we will do this methodically and not in a reactive way," added Parr. zzzz

Reports in Germany suggest that Williams' current technical director Michael, an Australian, could be at the top of the list.

Motorsport-total.com said team shareholder Christian 'Toto' Wolff - usually a behind-the-scenes influence - will attend the Chinese grand prix this weekend as Williams looks to restructure.

He said there are "five or six core issues" that need to be addressed, including "the human factor" and that fact that the move "from the founding generation to the next" has not been smooth.

It is believed Wolff's comments are a reference to Michael, who took over in charge of Williams' technical operations from team co-founder Patrick Head in 2004.

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