Mercedes’ Vowles named Williams team principal

Photo courtesy of Williams

Mercedes’ Vowles named Williams team principal

Formula 1

Mercedes’ Vowles named Williams team principal

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Williams has hired former Mercedes motorsport strategy director James Vowles as its new team principal.

Vowles replaces Jost Capito, who left Williams alongside technical director FX Demaison last month, and will be released by Mercedes to begin work on February 20. The 43-year-old has worked at Mercedes throughout its time in Formula 1, having been part of the BAR, Honda and Brawn iterations of the team, and joins Williams having been motorsport strategy director under Toto Wolff for over four years.

“I cannot wait to start with Williams Racing,” Vowles said. “It’s an honor to join a team with such an incredibly rich heritage. The team is an icon of our sport, one I greatly respect, and I am very much looking forward to the challenge.

“Mercedes have been hugely supportive on my journey, and we part on excellent terms after over 20 years of working in Brackley. I am grateful for everything Toto and the team have provided, and it has been such a special experience to journey together through failure and success.

“Williams Racing have placed their faith and trust in me, and I will do the same in return. Williams has tremendous potential, and our journey together starts in a matter of weeks.”

Matthew Savage — chairman of Williams owners Dorilton Capital — says Vowles has the experience to succeed in the role but also brings a fresh leadership approach in his first team principal position.

“We are delighted to welcome James to Williams Racing,” Savage said. “He is one of the most highly respected talents in Formula 1 and will bring performance. He has been a key part of some of the most impressive feats in the sport over the past 15 years.

“As we continue our relentless pursuit for results, we believe that the appointment of James reinforces our dedication to ensuring we have energetic, experienced, and strong leadership as we move into the next phase of transforming Williams Racing.”

Former boss Wolff — who himself joined Mercedes from Williams — says he is confident his longtime associate has the skill set to be a team principal.

“James has been a highly valued member of our team in his role as  motorsport strategy director, playing an integral part in our success in recent years,” Wolff said. “Having worked with him since I first joined the team in 2013, I know how diligent, capable and talented he is and have taken great satisfaction from watching James develop and grow over the past decade.

“Since stepping back from the pit wall mid-season last year, he has continued to build the capability of our strategy team at Brackley, and we have a fantastic group of talented strategists who will continue their superb work in the years to come.

“While we are naturally sad to be saying goodbye to such a capable member of the team, I have no doubts whatsoever that he has all the necessary skills to become a fantastic team principal in Formula 1. We wish him every success and are delighted that he will take this next step in his career with Williams, a strong technical partner of ours and one that has a place close to my own heart.”

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