New Williams F1 boss James Vowles plans to bring Williams back from the brink and denies the suspicion that Mercedes Benz AMG F1 has merely installed a ‘puppet’ manager for a ‘B team’ to the German giant. New Williams team boss James Vowles plans to capitalise on the talent already in the team to bring Williams back to the F1 forefront in 2023.
Williams’ new team boss James Vowles is about to open a new chapter in his career and says he will do everything he can to try and get the British team back to the front of the grid in 2023.
James Vowles has left the Mercedes team, where he was strategy director until last year, to take over as Williams’ new team boss for the 2023 season, replacing German Jost Capito.
Although Williams uses various parts from Mercedes (such as the engine) and James Vowles himself still has many contacts within his now former team, the British engineer is adamant that Williams remains an “independent organisation” and will not become a Mercedes B-team this year.
Williams independence is critical
“Williams is a completely independent organisation, and furthermore, the success of the organisation will depend on me doing a good job there, which must be independent of Mercedes,” explains James Vowles.
“That doesn’t mean that Mercedes and ourselves won’t have some form of collaboration, because there was already a collaboration before I arrived, but from now on I have to do what is best for the Williams team.”
“The second thing is that from now on I wear a Williams shirt, to whom I will be loyal. There is no mini-Mercedes or B-team or any other notion. It’s about me standing on my own two feet and looking to achieve success with a whole organisation around me.”
When asked what he plans to do to bring the Williams team back to the top of the grid in 2023, James Vowles says he wants to strengthen the technical team while indicating that he will look to nurture the various talents that have already been in-house for many years and who may not have been able to break free due to the team’s chaotic situation with a change in ownership amid financial problems.
“I am a change, but it is not just about an individual. What’s needed is a strengthening of the technical team, but also allowing those who are incredibly good internally to shine and thrive, and I suspect the environment they were in was not conducive to that for a while.”
“You have to instill a culture that allows everyone to be empowered, you have to grow, you have to move forward as a unit together. I suspect they got themselves into a situation where that collaboration wasn’t as good as it needed to be, simply because several years of pain cemented it all together.”
Williams will not only have a new manager in 2023, but also a new driver pairing of Thai Alex Albon and American Logan Sargeant. The FW45 will be unveiled on 6 February.