Williams announce Mercedes strategist Vowles as new team principal · RaceFans

Williams have announced former Mercedes motorsport strategist James Vowles as their new team principal, filling the position vacated by Jost Capito.

The team relieved Capito of his position as team principal after almost two years at the end of the 2022 season. Technical director Francois-Xavier Demaison was also let go at the same time.

Vowles had been acting at Mercedes’ motorsport strategy director under team principal Toto Wolff for the past four seasons. He has spent his entire two-decade tenure in F1 at the Brackley-based team, including its previous identities as Brawn GP, Honda and BAR.

Vowles said it was an “honour” to be named as team principal for a team “with such an incredibly rich heritage” as Williams.

“The team is an icon of our sport, one I greatly respect, and I am very much looking forward to the challenge,” Vowles said.

He thanked Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff as he moved on from the team which swept every constructors championship between 2014 and 2021.

“Mercedes have been hugely supportive on my journey, and we part on excellent terms after over 20 years of working in Brackley,” said Vowles. “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.”

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Matthew Savage, CEO of team owners Dorilton Capital, hailed the hiring of Vowles to lead the team into the new season.

“We are delighted to welcome James to Williams Racing,” said Savage. “He is one of the most highly respected talents in Formula 1 and will bring performance.

“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.”

Toto Wolff praised Vowles’ contribution to Mercedes’ successes during his time with the team. “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,” said Wolff.

“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.”

Williams finished tenth and last in the constructors’ championship last season, scoring only eight points. The team will field Alexander Albon and rookie American driver Logan Sargeant in their two cars for the 2023 championship.

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