Williams confirms Mercedes strategy chief James Vowles as new team principal

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Williams have today announced that former Mercedes strategy chief James Vowles will become the Grove-based outfit's Team Principal, taking over the role of Jost Capito.

Succeeding former Team Principal Jost Capito, British-born Vowles will join 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.

The 43-year-old engineer started his Formula 1 career as an engineer at British American Racing and Honda Racing F1 Team. Following Honda's exit from the sport, Vowles was promoted to race strategist at Brawn GP and oversaw the race strategy that saw Jenson Button secure the 2009 F1 world championship title.

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. Vowles will commence his work at Williams on 20 February.

Commenting on his new role, Vowles added: “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,.

Williams Racing have 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.”

Dorilton Capital Chairman Matthew Savage added: “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.”

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff said: "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," Wolff concluded.