Williams poised for major staff changes
29 April, 2011
Apr.29 (GMM) The future of another senior member of Williams F1 technical crew is reportedly in doubt in the wake of the team’s below par start to the season.
On the back of a near unprecedentedly bad start to the Grove based team’s 2011 season, it emerged that chairman Adam Parr is heading a radical restructuring that could result in technical director Sam Michael losing his job.
Meanwhile Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport reports that other personnel changes could be implemented, possibly as soon as next weekend’s Turkish grand prix.
The report said Williams’ 38-year-old chief aerodynamicist Jon Tomlinson could be set to leave the Oxfordshire based team. He entered Formula 1 with Jordan in 2000 and has also worked with Renault.
Auto Motor und Sport also said team co-founder, shareholder and long time engineering director and Patrick Head is looking to step down completely.
“This would start a whole new era for Williams’ technical department,” stated the report.
The rumours are reportedly circulating not only in Formula 1 circles but also among those in the know at the Frankfurt stock exchange, where Williams’ shares have been in decline.
The team’s senior driver Rubens Barrichello is quoted by Speed Week as defending Sam Michael, who joined Williams in 2001 and three years later replaced Head as technical director.
“I have known Sam since our days at Jordan,” said Barrichello. “The problem is not that he is the wrong man for the job, but that he has too much to do.”
Speed Week said the sentiment in the Shanghai paddock two weeks ago was that Williams should not be looking to blame Michael for its current situation, but rather chairman Parr.