Wheels24

Sprint great signs with Willilams

2012-01-12 07:43

LONDON, England - Athletics great Michael Johnson will work with the Williams F1 team to help its crew to achieve faster pit stops.

Williams said Michael Johnson Performance, a training company founded by the now retired 200m and 400m Olympic champion, would devise a training program for its pit crew and evaluate the whole team's regime.

Shaving even a tiny amount from the time needed to change tyres and make repairs can make a huge difference to a driver's race time.

F1 FAN SINCE 1990

Johnson said: "I'm confident our experience and bio-mechanics expertise that has benefited numerous American football athletes, Premier League football teams, and Olympic federations can also benefit Williams to cut hundredths, perhaps even tenths, of a second off their pit-stop times."

Johnson's company has already worked with the NFL's Dallas Cowboys and Major League Soccer's FC Dallas.

Johnson said he has been an F1 fan since attending the Belgian GP in 1990, when he first met team principal Frank Williams.

Williams added: "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 - 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 to our own hugely competitive field."

SHORT ON TITLES

Williams wants to improve on its recent poor record in the F1 World championship. The UK-based team has won 113 GPs, nine Constructors' titles and seven Drivers' titles but has done little since winning the 2004 Brazilian GP; its most recent title came when Jacques Villeneuve became Drivers' champion in 1997.

Williams finished ninth of 12 teams in last season's final constructors' standings with five points, 645 behind winner Red Bull.

AP