Sam Michael has revealed how the organisation that helped push Great Britain to its best gold medal haul at an Olympics in more than a century is assisting McLaren’s quest to win this year’s Formula One World Championship.
West Australian Michael, who joined McLaren 12 months ago as sporting director, told the Australian Grand Prix ‘Keeping Track’ Podcast how McLaren has worked with the English Institute of Sport to make its pit stops the fastest in the sport.
At the German Grand Prix in July, a Jenson Button pit stop was timed at 2.31 seconds, the quickest in Formula One history. Michael says the combination of new technology and hours of work spent on making tiny gains could see pit stops of under two seconds occur as soon as next season.
“We work with the English Institute of Sport, the same group that worked with the Olympic athletes, to understand how to use our crew better,” Michael said.
“There are three or four things in that area that we consider our secret and are how we’ve been able to produce those stops.
“There’s no question that we’ll beat that record again during the next year, maybe during the next race … and from next year you’ll start to see under two seconds.”
In an in-depth interview with ‘Keeping Track’, Michael reveals why next weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix will be critical for the rest of the season, explains why Formula One has had seven different race winners in just 13 races this year, and discusses the logistical challenge of seven races in 10 weeks to close the 2012 season.
‘Keeping Track’ is the official podcast of the Formula 1™ Australian Grand Prix. Hosted by Matt Clayton and Cameron McConville, the podcast features interviews with a host of key Formula One names throughout the season.