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Michael looking to stay in F1

ESPNF1 Staff
May 8, 2011 « No guarantees over 2011 Bahrain GP - Ecclestone | »
Sam Michael is keeping his options open for 2012 © Sutton Images

Williams technical director Sam Michael on Saturday said he will still be in Formula One next year with another team.

Amid Williams' worst start to a season since 1979, the team's Australian technical director has resigned and turned down another job with the Oxfordshire-based team. Replaced by the incoming Mike Coughlan, 40-year-old Michael said he will finish his contract in 2011 and then move to another team.

"I'll clearly be in formula one next year," said Michael, who started his F1 career with Jordan and Lotus in the 90s. "Where? I don't know yet. I can't talk about it."

Michael, who has received backing from Rubens Barrichello and Mark Webber in recent days, insisted it was his decision to quit Williams and has been bouyed by the interest of other teams.

"I've had some interest already from outside, which is encouraging," he said.

Michael admitted his duties at Williams might taper off as the team appoints his successors and creates the new technical structure for 2012.

"If it gets to the point where Williams decide it's better for someone else to do it, that's fine. But I want to leave Williams very professionally and in the best position going forward," he said.