Official: Williams signs James Vowles as F1 team boss
Ex-Mercedes strategy chief switches teams
Williams Racing is delighted to announce that James Vowles is becoming its Team Principal. James will join the team on 20 February, ahead of the first Grand Prix in Bahrain. He has been instrumental in securing nine F1 Constructors’ championships (with Brawn GP and Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team) and has overseen over 120 race victories.
British-born Vowles joins Williams after a 21-year career in Formula 1 so far, with his most recent role as Motorsport Strategy Director at Mercedes, a position he held for over four years. Prior to that he fulfilled key engineering and strategy roles at Mercedes and former F1 teams including Honda Racing, Brawn GP and British American Racing.
The 43-year-old played a crucial role at Brawn, overseeing the race strategy that saw Jenson Button secure the 2009 Formula 1 World Championship Drivers’ title and the team take the Constructors’ Championship. He stayed at the team’s Brackley base as it transitioned into Mercedes from the 2010 season and, since then, has played an integral role in the team’s many successes.
James Vowles, Team Principal, Williams Racing: "I cannot wait to start with Williams Racing. It’s an honour 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 [Wolff] 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, Dorilton: "We are delighted to welcome James to Williams Racing. 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.”
Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team: "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. 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 One. 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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