Sam Michael cleared to start at McLaren

Staff changes take place all the time in Formula 1. And since every team is working pretty much from the same talent pool, staff members are bound to rotate between teams. Typically the top talents are share between the top teams: a list that in recent years has comprised of outfits like Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull and Mercedes GP. But while they haven't been there in a while, Williams was once classified among the elite front-runners, and with some personnel and technical changes, hopes to again soon. Those plans, however, don't include Sam Michael.

Until recently, Michael served as technical director of the Williams team, but as the team failed to emerge from the back of the pack, he was let go. Mike Coughlan, formerly of McLaren and related controversy, is now sitting at Michael's desk. So where has Michael landed? At McLaren, of course.

The new appointment as the Woking outfit's sporting director wasn't expected to take effect, in any practical sense, until his contract with Williams had expired. But since it was Williams that cut him lose in the first place, they've been kind enough to let Michael off the leash. So he'll be traveling with McLaren to the last two grands prix of the season, where he'll be able to observe the team at work and begin plotting what changes he'll make once he takes over control of the team's trackside racing operations next season in an effort to help Button and Hamilton edge out Vettel for next year's title.

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