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Sam Micheal--Is he any good


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#1 jimm

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 03:36

Could be unrelated but can't help but notice that Mclaren was known for awesome pitwork and good work from the pit wall and in the last few races have fallen appart. How many points have Button and Hamilton lost in the last few races? Miscalucation gets LH moved to the back of the grid for this race over a few ounces when he had a half second in hand.

Look back to when he was at Williams, from the moment he took over, the team lost its way..no points his first couple of races infact wth one of the best cars that included a DQ in Canada for brake ducts. Always seemed lost at Williams...he has been gone for less than a year and they win thier first race in almost ten years.

Thoughts?

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#2 Meanbeakin

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 03:41

I think Williams downturn in performance were circumstances outside of Sam Michael's control. Williams started going downhill when their BMW relationship soured. Mike Coughlin seems to be doing wonders for them and his arrival has coincided with Michael's departure.

Edited by Meanbeakin, 14 May 2012 - 03:41.


#3 Philip Lee KK

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 04:01

also the Renault engine is superior to the Cosworth. throw in the 2012 spec Pirelli and suddenly the good midfield teams (like Saubers) are now having good chance for good results.

#4 kodandaram

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 04:19

I think there is more to it than co-incidences.

Sam Michael's best days were @Jordan and the early years of the BMW.WilliamsF1 team's ascendancy.

I believe his first race as TD was Canada/Indy and JPM or Ralf got DQ for some reason. And it went downhill from there. We could all be wrong as we sit on the outside but from the outside it always looked like Williams were just doing trial and error.

Look now - He is just gone and a new group is making an immediate impact. You can't work miracles like that too often in F1. The only way it could have happened is when you have an incredible lead time - ala Brawn GP - or if you have been ridiculously underperforming with your resources - ala Williams in the last 2 years under Sam.

Now he goes to McLaren and has probably carried a bit of bad luck with him - they are falling apart in the pitlane and strategy. I hope they give him a hands-off role coz he seems to have lost his mojo.

#5 Sanman59

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 08:43


In a word no! Dragged Williams into the mire and now look at what they are doing without him!

:wave:

#6 engel

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 08:48

In a word no! Dragged Williams into the mire and now look at what they are doing without him!

:wave:


if only 1 guy could make or break a team :S

#7 windtravels

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 09:04

Its certainly not clear currently what he is bringing to mclaren.

#8 iotar

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 09:07

Yes he's very good, unlike you and others here.

Look, he even squeezed a two-stopper out of Hamilton and the car was working beautifully in qualifying. At least for one driver.

#9 Peat

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 09:24

My father is of the opinion that Sam is SOLEY responsible for the downturn in Mclaren's fortune. But then again, my father is a fool.

#10 PretentiousBread

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 09:48

Yes he's very good, unlike you and others here.

Look, he even squeezed a two-stopper out of Hamilton and the car was working beautifully in qualifying. At least for one driver.


I thought Hamilton squeezed a two stopper out of that car, not Sam Michael, who's job is operational, not technical which means presumably he didn't have a lot to do with Hamilton's great pace and tyre management throughout the weekend.

#11 velgajski1

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 09:51

Yes he's very good, unlike you and others here.

Look, he even squeezed a two-stopper out of Hamilton and the car was working beautifully in qualifying. At least for one driver.


That doesn't say much. Massa is very good driver too and certianly better than any autosport forum member (unless Alonso, Hamilton and some other ones have account here :) ). Question is wheter he is good for role and team in comparison to other 'very good' guys.

#12 mstar

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 10:50

What surprises me about Sam is in all the teams he has been at, he has been really media friendly and happy to talk. This season he refuses to talk to the media i am not sure what his problem is? as a TD he has a job description to interact with the media. Other TD's all do. He was really informative to BBC (when they had F1) in his williams days

#13 hunnylander

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 11:12

Yes he's very good, unlike you and others here.

Look, he even squeezed a two-stopper out of Hamilton and the car was working beautifully in qualifying. At least for one driver.

He's the Sporting Director!

His responsibility is to know the Sporting Regulations and to guide the team according to that, e.g. to go on hearing to the stewards (like he did with the fuel issue too on the weekend), to organize and teach the pit crew's work. Operational and sporting tasks.

The setup of the car is the task of the race and data engineers along with the drivers. For the strategy there are strategists.

#14 muramasa

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 11:15

if only 1 guy could make or break a team :S

:lol:


#15 Jon83

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 11:56

I thought Martin Whitmarsh was the man responsible for every single flaw at McLaren?

#16 TheWilliamzer

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 12:10

Yes, Sam is the guy who caused the safety car in Australia, he's the left rear mechanic who either struggles with the nut, the gun or leaves the dead tire in the way, he's who undefueled the car in Q3 last saturday and he's responsible for everything bad that happens to the Macs...

You know that as TD in Williams he was doing both Coughlan's and Gillan's work?

#17 Dolph

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 12:23

What surprises me about Sam is in all the teams he has been at, he has been really media friendly and happy to talk. This season he refuses to talk to the media i am not sure what his problem is? as a TD he has a job description to interact with the media. Other TD's all do. He was really informative to BBC (when they had F1) in his williams days


Except that he is not TD

#18 jimm

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 02:25

Mclaren contienues to slide down the field...reminds me of Williams collapse. What do we think about Micheals now.

#19 goldenboy

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 05:35

Mclaren contienues to slide down the field...reminds me of Williams collapse. What do we think about Micheals now.

I think your being dramatic comparing it to williams. He's in a completely different role anyway and in his first year. Considering the stories told from people in the know that he was doing a few peoples job at williams, I can't understand the contempt some people have for him.

Edited by goldenboy, 09 July 2012 - 05:37.


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#20 Disgrace

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:00

Mclaren contienues to slide down the field...reminds me of Williams collapse. What do we think about Micheals now.


Apportioning blame to McLarens sporting director for a lack of technical development would be misplaced. His role as defined by McLaren is "development and management of the team’s trackside operations."

#21 Reinmuster

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:03

Ron Dennis appears to be lurking around at the Mclaren garage. Could he still interfering team's affair?




#22 olliek88

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:09

also the Renault engine is superior to the Cosworth. throw in the 2012 spec Pirelli and suddenly the good midfield teams (like Saubers) are now having good chance for good results.


Plus Williams never got to grips with the EBD, since its ban it helped those that struggled with it.

One person doesn't make a team great or a shambles.

Edited by olliek88, 09 July 2012 - 06:09.


#23 george1981

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:47

On the subject of the McLaren pitcrew. I think they might have pushed their pit crew too much chasing .1s, which led to a few mistakes that cost 5s-10s to recover from. After that they over-reacted and changed too much and still tried to push the fastest times, which then led to more mistakes.

#24 Spa One

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:49

Sam michael is very, very well regarded by the professionals that work within F1. They can see a bit more of how teams actually operate than us fans.

I've read numerous reports from within the paddock that Michael's workload at Williams was unrealistic for one man.

McLaren are a clever team, and they wouldn't hire Michael for the sake of it.

I originally posted this in the meme thread, but It may be more fitting here:

Posted Image


Edited by Spa One, 09 July 2012 - 06:55.


#25 undersquare

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 07:18

Have to say yesterday's pitstops were excellent weren't they?

#26 velgajski1

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 08:06

Apportioning blame to McLarens sporting director for a lack of technical development would be misplaced. His role as defined by McLaren is "development and management of the team’s trackside operations."


Which has up to this race cost them points in every race so far IIRC. Quite an achievement :)

#27 Jon83

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 09:53

Have to say yesterday's pitstops were excellent weren't they?


Yes but one of the pundits did say that it's all very well having the odd 2.6 second stop but it is surely better to have a consistent 3.0 - 3.2.

#28 cilurnum

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 10:18

Sam Micheal--Is he any good

No.

#29 goldenboy

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 10:57

Yes but one of the pundits did say that it's all very well having the odd 2.6 second stop but it is surely better to have a consistent 3.0 - 3.2.

I remember hearing ross brawn a few weeks back saying in practice they can do a pitstop often in sub 2 second time (? or something ridiculous?) but that they don't want to attempt it in the race, and focus on a good consistent time instead.

#30 smitten

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 11:43

Yes but one of the pundits did say that it's all very well having the odd 2.6 second stop but it is surely better to have a consistent 3.0 - 3.2.


So now the pit-stops are too fast instead of too slow?


#31 slideways

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 12:08

I never really understood all the blame he got in his Williams stint. Tough job with Frank and Patrick still trying to micro manage everything like it was the 90s.

#32 One

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 12:24

No.


Care t elaborate?

Sam is on race team, and how should one conclude thatthe Mac's race team is failing to extract max from the effort made by factory engineering/desgn team's project?

Just interested in your analysis, ...

#33 chrcol

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 12:27

mclaren have been poor at the pitwall since whitmarsh joined, thats nothing to do with sam michael.

#34 chrcol

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 12:28

So now the pit-stops are too fast instead of too slow?


too early to say the pits are fixed.

the real test is when mclaren pit the same time as other teams such as under SC and see if the pit crew mentally hold it together.

#35 peroa

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 12:30

mclaren have been poor at the pitwall since whitmarsh joined, thats nothing to do with sam michael.

Since the 80's?

#36 Jon83

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 12:32

So now the pit-stops are too fast instead of too slow?


No, you've missed the point completely.

The point was that it is all very good having the odd super-fast pitstop but it isn't much good if most of the others are 4 seconds plus. Consistency is more important than the odd moment of glory.

#37 HoldenRT

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:11

He's well spoken in interviews and clearly knows what he is talking about but within the team and their performance I've always wondered.. it does seem to be like he is a negative influence at times, similar to Nick Fry at Honda/Merc. The latter won a championship with Brawn but that was more about Brawn/double diffuser/Button IMO.

It's just really hard to say for sure, to be able to isolate certain individuals and comment on how they impact the team, there are too many variables.

#38 smitten

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:17

Consistency is more important than the odd moment of glory.


And were they not consistently quick on Sunday? i thought a) they were among the fastest and b) it was the first weekend where both drivers had incident free stops. :confused:

#39 Petroltorque

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 15:10

In a word; NO! Being media friendly is no indicator of engineering prowess. I think Martin Brundle summed it up best, he worked with Michael at Jordan and was more than surprised when he was elevated to the post of TD at Williams. I appreciate that Williams had reduced budgets coming up to the end of his tenure but that is an opportunity for a team's engineering skill to come to the fore.
Michael's stewardship of the technical team resulted in sequentially worse cars every year, terminating with the FW33, which to put it mildly, was a shitbox. It's all to easy blame the engine but in 30 years of following F1 I have not come across an engine which would compensate for a poor chassis. I appreciate the lack of off throttle blowing with the Cosworth was a problem but even fully optinised that was worth around 7 tenths a lap and Williams were too far off the pace for that to make a difference.
The excuse of doing multiple jobs illustrates a lack of organisational skills. The technical department resorted to bringing several updates to each Grand Prix, very few of which worked. An approach likened by Alan Sugar in 'The Apprentice' as; " Pissing hard earned cash up against a wall".
I appreciate that Michael's role at Macca is completely different but I get the feeling that were Ron Dennis still at the helm he would not have got past the gatehouse at Paragon.

Edited by Petroltorque, 09 July 2012 - 15:45.


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#40 Jon83

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 15:16

And were they not consistently quick on Sunday? i thought a) they were among the fastest and b) it was the first weekend where both drivers had incident free stops. :confused:


Yes but this was one race.

If they can do it consitently over the course of the remainder of the season, then fine but one weekend of them doing their jobs without slip-up is hardly anything to write home about now is it?


#41 george1981

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 15:27

In a word; NO! Being media friendly is no indicator of engineering prowess. I think Martin Brundle summed it up best, he worked with Michael at Jordan and was more than surprised when he was elevated to the post of TD at Williams.


I don't suppose you have a link to that comment? I'm always interested in Martin Brundle's opinion on people. Being an F1 commentator he normally sits on the fence and is very even handed.
One thing that does stick out about Sam Michael was that at his first race in charge of Williams at the 2004 Canadian GP the cars were disqualified for running illegal brake ducts. I remember at the time a lot of people commented negatively about that. Not that it was Sam Michael's fault directly but that he should have had someone checking the legality of all the parts.

#42 spacekid

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 15:29

Sam michael is very, very well regarded by the professionals that work within F1. They can see a bit more of how teams actually operate than us fans.

I've read numerous reports from within the paddock that Michael's workload at Williams was unrealistic for one man.

McLaren are a clever team, and they wouldn't hire Michael for the sake of it.


:up: Good post.

#43 femi

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 15:35

Its certainly not clear currently what he is bringing to mclaren.



I've seen pictures of him yawning in the Mclaren garage during a GP weekend...

#44 spacekid

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 15:40

I've seen pictures of him yawning in the Mclaren garage during a GP weekend...


I also heard that at Melbourne he had to use the toilet. What is he, human or something?

If you point a camera at anyone who has been working over a GP weekend long enough, you will be able to take a photo of them yawning. And probably also breaking wind and burping too.

#45 Petroltorque

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 15:51

I don't suppose you have a link to that comment? I'm always interested in Martin Brundle's opinion on people. Being an F1 commentator he normally sits on the fence and is very even handed.
One thing that does stick out about Sam Michael was that at his first race in charge of Williams at the 2004 Canadian GP the cars were disqualified for running illegal brake ducts. I remember at the time a lot of people commented negatively about that. Not that it was Sam Michael's fault directly but that he should have had someone checking the legality of all the parts.

It was an off the cuff remark made during commentary, it was a while back and I can't remember the race. It just stood out for me as I considered Michael to have been promoted above his technical ability. Race engineer yes. Technical Director? Oi! Michael, NO!

#46 discover23

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 17:45

Sam was partially responsible for Williams failing to win the 2003 WDC - BMW engines blowing up from race leads also had something to do with it of course but there was some internal friction within the team which impacted the results .

Ralf specifically asked for Sam to be his race engineer at Williams back in 2000 and lured him from Jordan, this friendly relationship unfortunately led Sam to support the wrong driver in 2003 when their car was fast enough to challenge Ferrari for some wins.

It was also widely known back in those days that JPM went into Frank's office to demand equal treatment from the team since Ralf had twice as many engineers working on his side of the garage compared to JPM.

Edited by discover23, 09 July 2012 - 17:46.


#47 techspeed

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 18:57

Mclaren contienues to slide down the field...reminds me of Williams collapse. What do we think about Micheals now.

Brilliant, he's done wonders for the parts of the team he is responsible for. For the past two races McLaren have had the fastest pit stops of all teams, an area they were sorely lacking and causing them to lose out to other drivers during the race. To apportion blame for the jack failure to Michael is as relevant as blaming him for an engine failure, but it's what all the haters are focussing on. :drunk:

The usual mob mentality means once someone has targeted someone everyone else piles in to stick with the crowd even though they have no reason to do so, and an awful lot of people have an irrational hatred for people with no logical reason. Just look at the "evidence" he's useless that the Williams is competitive now he has left, even though he was still in charge while the car was being designed.

#48 ATM_Andy

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 19:02

Sam Micheal--Is he any good?

Yes, Very Very Good!

#49 P123

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 19:06

Sam Micheal--Is he any good?

Yes, Very Very Good!


Evidence so far is questionnable. Although he may just be being used as a conveniant scapegoat for McLaren getting lost on development so far this season..... At the same time Williams appear to be doing better with their new tech team, free of Michael's influence.

#50 ZooL

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 19:11

Of the top teams in F1 this year I believe the facts show that the things Sam Michael is responsible for has the highest error rate.

The figures speak for themselves and again I think they are lacking in strategic direction. They need to stop being so quick and step back a bit. Ross Brawn said he gets the Merc crew to do the same thing a.k.a they don't operate at 100% speed but aim for consistent reliable pitstops.