'Hugely motivated' Vowles sees 'tremendous potential' at Williams

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New Williams boss James Vowles is "hugely motivated" for the task of rebuilding the team and sees "tremendous potential" for the future.

Last week, it was suddenly announced the former Mercedes chief strategist would be taking over from Jost Capito in the role as part of an ongoing shake-up by team owner Dorilton Capital.

This comes after Williams finished bottom of the Constructors' Championship for the fourth time in five years last season, scoring just eight points.

But having been a part of the Brackley outfit since its BAR days in the early 2000s, Vowles is more than ready to swap life at the front of the Formula 1 grid to the rear.

“Williams has such a strong and rich heritage, I feel privileged to be a part of this team and hugely motivated," he said.

“Across my career so far I’ve had my share of failure, however, I’ve also been fortunate enough to share in great success.

“I haven’t lost the hunger, ambition or desire to win, but rather gained the ambition to build this journey with Williams.

“I cannot wait to start with and I am very much looking forward to the challenge.

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

Vowles revealed conversations with Williams began in December leading to his eventual appointment, and he was very thankful for the response he got from Mercedes after making his decision to leave.

"I think from my perspective Toto [Wolff, Mercedes boss], in fairness, wasn’t really made aware of it until late on, so just a few weeks ago, really into the new year," he added.

"Toto’s response was the best I could have hoped for. He has been incredibly good in terms of accommodating this change.

"Mercedes know it’s obviously a loss, but in a way, it’s a gain because Williams fundamentally and for myself, it ends up being a big step, and I think that is why you are seeing this collaborative nature."

Vowles' role within Mercedes had been growing within the past year, as he stepped away from the pit wall to work with other areas of the team.

And he feels that has prepared him for the task of taking on the team principal job at an F1 team.

"Fortunately, I’m not seeing it... it is a leap, it is a jump, but I don’t think it’s a massive leap," he said.


"I think this journey has been one that has been in my head for many years, and Toto and Mercedes have been incredibly kind in order to provide me a pathway to get there.

"However, it’s the same if I asked any of you to change what you’re doing and move on to a different organisation, even perhaps if you’re doing the same job," Vowles explained.

"You have to reform your relationships, you have to build the team around you that you want, that you are with, and you have to reform those social groups that are now disappearing. Disappearing after 20 years.

"The best analogy I can use so far is almost like a divorce. It’s hard. That’s a lot of people that are incredibly close to me, that I’ve grown up with.

"But I’m going into an arena that has people that are just as motivated, just as committed, and just as hungry for success.

"Perhaps I’m getting carried away with the excitement and the want and will to start this, and get into this, but it’s not trepidation.

"I’m waking up every morning, I don’t mind saying, at five AM and just scribbling down thoughts, notes, directions. That is the level of motivation that is just going to keep me going for years and years. I’m confident of it."