Vowles, was one of a select group of powerful senior figures at Mercedes
James Vowles New Team Manager At Williams
James Vowles, a former Mercedes head of strategy, has been named the new team manager for Williams.
In the years from 2014 to 2021, when Mercedes dominated Formula 1, the 43-year-old was a key player at the team.
As the team's head of motorsport strategy, Vowles was one of a select group of powerful senior figures that led Mercedes under team owner Toto Wolff.
Vowles said about joining a squad with such a long history as "an honour."
Jost Capito, who had only been with the club for two years, was replaced by him when Williams fired him in December.
Vowles is an ambitious person who, given his recent F1 experience and his contribution to the formula's success, is the ideal candidate for such a large, long-term project at this point in his career.
Vowles has worked for the Brackley-based company for 21 years. He started there when it was British American Racing (BAR) and has remained throughout its several incarnations as Honda, Brawn GP, and now Mercedes. The team achieved nine constructors' championship victories during that time. His job has changed in recent years, shifting from concentrating on strategy to helping to determine the F1 team's general future course.
Vowles will apply that experience and method of working, which will be indelibly imprinted in the way he approaches his job and apply it as best as he can at Williams.
On February 20, Vowles will begin his new job. He stated: "I cannot wait to start with Williams Racing. I have a tremendous deal of respect for the squad and am eager to take on the challenge since they are an example of our sport."
"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."
Vowles will be responsible for turning around the fortunes of a team that dominated Formula One for significant stretches in the 1980s and 1990s but has fallen to the bottom of the standings in recent years, placing last for three of the last four seasons.
The team's fortunes have not significantly improved despite a number of management changes in recent years, including their sale by the founding Williams family to Dorilton Capital.
Williams has "huge potential," he claimed, and he is "sure we can progress up the grid."
He stated that Dorilton, which assumed control in 2020, was ready to provide the resources necessary to upgrade the team but that "the impact will take a bit to truly kick in.”
Vowles stated that he had been considering becoming a team principal "for many years" and was appreciative to Mercedes for assisting him in taking action before this opportunity presented itself.
He added: "What is required is a restrengthening of the technical staff but also allowing individuals internally who are very talented to flourish and prosper. I anticipate the team will need a change to the culture, procedures, and systems.
"I suspect the environment they've had around them isn't one that is conducive to that."
"I am fortunate enough to have known failure. The real gain is you have to instil a culture that allows everyone to realise you have to be empowered - you have to grow and move forward together."
"It has to be one collaborative motion, and I strongly suspect that collaboration is not quite at the level if could be or should be, just because it has been a few years of pain that has cemented it."
James is one of the most well-respected drivers in Formula 1, according to Dorilton owner Matthew Savage, and he will provide performance.
More about James Vowles
James P. Vowles is a British motorsport engineer who was born on June 20, 1979. From 2010 to 2023, he served as the Formula One team's senior strategist at Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport. Williams Racing announced on January 13, 2023, that Vowles would succeed Jost Capito as their new Team Principal beginning with the 2023 season.
Vowles has had success as a racing engineer and strategist while working for numerous Formula One teams. He has almost 100 Grands Prix victories and nine Constructors' Championships with two distinct Formula One teams. Vowles was in charge of the Brawn GP racing strategy, which was essential to the team's 2009 season in which it won the title with Jenson Button as the championship winning driver for team Brawn-Mercedes. Vowles remained with the team after Brawn GP was sold to Mercedes in 2010 after working with the championship-winning squad.
Vowles graduated in 1997 from the International School of Geneva. He continued his education at the University of East Anglia, graduating with a degree in computer science in 2000. He then attended Cranfield University for his master's degree in Motorsport Engineering and Management, graduating with the Prodrive Award of Excellence.