Sprinting Legend Michael Johnson Begins Partnership with Williams F1
January 12, 2012
Olympic champion Michael Johnson has struck a partnership with Williams as the faltering Formula One team look to rediscover the form that made them one of the most successful names in Grand Prix racing.
Michael Johnson Performance Inc, a company founded by the three-time Olympic gold medallist will provide a training programme for the team’s pit crew as well as look at Williams’ overall training set-up.
Williams have won 113 Grand Prix and lifted the constructors’ world championship nine times.
But last season the British outfit scored just five points — a long way from the glory years that saw drivers like Australian Alan Jones, Finn Keke Rosberg, Britons Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill and Canadian Jacques Villeneuve taking drivers’ world titles.
Although Johnson, who won gold in the 200 and 400 metres at the 1996 Games in Atlanta before triumphing in the 400m again in Sydney four years later, comes from a vastly different sporting background, Williams principal Sir Frank Williams believes his team will benefit from the partnership.
“I had the privilege of first meeting Michael at the Belgian Grand Prix in the late 1990s,” Williams said in a statement on Wednesday.
“I have always admired the dedication required to be an Olympic champion.
“The attention to detail and the commitment required is what sets these extraordinary individuals apart from the rest of us.
“When Michael and I met again recently he explained how he had established a company that specialised in improving athletic performance.
“I was extremely keen to learn how he could help our team as there seemed to be a lot of areas of common interest.
“Michael’s sporting achievements speak for themselves, and the principles he used to become the fastest man in the world are certainly transferable into our own hugely competitive field.
“Formula One is about all aspects of the race. We all know how crucial the brief time the car spends in the pits can be.
“So it will be exciting to see how Michael and his team can help give us the edge in this respect.”
Johnson added: “I am confident the experience and biomechanics expertise of the MJP staff that has benefited numerous American football athletes, Premier League football teams, and Olympic federations, can also benefit Williams’ pit crew in their goal to cut hundredths and even tenths of a second from their pit stop times.”