Mike Coughlan To Williams, Sam Michael To Ferrari?

Mike Coughlan’s appointment at WilliamsF1 is pretty dated. He replaces Sam Michael at WilliamsF1, who is now rumoured to replace Aldo Costa in Ferrari. Do these moves indicate a trend?

I might be shooting off the lip here, but the trend does indicate that Formula1 might be facing a talent crunch. Consider this:

  1. Ross Brawn is an 8 times World Champion and has won with Benetton, Ferrari and Brawn GP.
  2. Adrian Newey has won multiple championships with Williams, Mclaren and now Red Bull. Brawn and Newey have won most championships since the 1990 with multiple teams and are the most sought after names in the F1 paddock. They are more expensive to hire than the middle and lower crop of F1 drivers.
  3. Sam Michael is the long serving Technical Director of the WilliamsF1 team. He has spent a decade with the team. However, last month it was revealed that he was relieved of his duties due to the non-performance of the Williams cars this season. However, there is rumour that Sam Michael might be absorbed by the Italian racing team, Ferrari, who have not been as lethal since their last championship win in 2007.
  4. Mike Coughlan, a former Mclaren employee, who was sacked due to his involvement in the infamous ‘spy-gate’ with Ferrari will replace Sam Michael in Williams. His appointment did raise a few eye-brows due to the nature of the controversy he was involved with. To refresh memories, Coughlan and Nigel Stepny (from Ferrari) were caught exchanging confidential team information which eventually led to their sacking and a ban from being involved in the sport for 2 years.
  5. That Williams is aware of Coughlan’s past and still went ahead with the appointment indicate two things. First, Coughlan could be a changed man and second, he has some much needed skills to exceed in Formula1.
  6. Top teams aside, even the relatively new team Team Lotus Racing hired Mike Gascoyne as their Technical Director after he was shown the door by the new Force India management.

Formula1 team personnel changes surprise me. Considering Coughlan’s integrity issues, isn’t there anyone else Williams could hire? Similar with Ferrari and Sam Michael’s much rumoured announcement. Does this indicate a serious talent crunch in the sport?

Kunal Shah is an FIA-accredited Formula 1 journalist who has been reporting on Formula 1 for nearly two decades. He worked with the Force India Formula 1 Team for 6 seasons in Marketing, Sponsorship and Commercial roles. As a former single-seater racer, he was responsible for Force India's grassroots talent program, One from a Billion Hunt. Presently, he co-writes a regular Formula 1 column for Firstpost, speaks on Inside Line F1 Podcast & Pits to Podium and produces broadcast/OTT content for NENT Group (Viasport & Viaplay).

2 comments On Mike Coughlan To Williams, Sam Michael To Ferrari?

  • hi kunal, just stumbled upon this page. Read several of your articles and like your knowledge and depth you put into them and also liked your bio, a man with an unreserved enthusiasm for the best motorsport in the world! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! will be sticking your site in my favourite list!

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