Sam Michael will join McLaren for the final two races of the season after he was given permission to start work for the team by former employer Williams.
The Australian left Williams at the end of September after a lengthy spell as its technical director, having agreed a deal to join McLaren as its sporting director. At the time it was unclear how long Michael would have to spend on "gardening leave," while he served out the terms of his old contract.
His original deal meant he could have been forced to sit out until March next year, which would have left him with very little preparation time ahead of the 2012 season. However, following an agreement between the two squads, Michael began duties at the McLaren factory on Tuesday and will now travel to the Abu Dhabi and Brazilian Grands Prix with the team.
"If I can get to a race this year with McLaren, it lets me observe what they are up to," he said back in September. "It's much better to do that and have the winter to think about things rather than going straight in at Melbourne and reacting to what I see."