James Vowles explains why Williams move does not mean ‘desire to win’ is gone

Alex Albon in the revised Williams FW44. Silverstone July 2022 Credit: Alamy
Alex Albon in the revised Williams FW44. Silverstone July 2022 Credit: Alamy

As James Vowles swaps a front-running team for the one at the back, he discussed his motivation to embark on this Williams “journey”.

Vowles has spent the entirety of his Formula 1 career at Mercedes and the past incarnations of the Brackley squad, stretching all the way back to the British American Racing days, but now that association is set to reach an end.

That is because as of February 20, Vowles will become a team principal for the first time in Formula 1 as he takes the Williams vacancy created by Jost Capito’s exit.

Now, while Mercedes were far from their dominant best in 2022, winning just the one race as their run of successive Constructors’ titles ended at eight, they nonetheless were in a far better position than Williams.

Having made a solid improvement in 2021, Williams slipped back to the foot of the standings in 2022, scoring just eight points.

Vowles made it clear though that the will to win for him is not gone, instead, he has “gained the ambition” to become a part of this Williams project as the team look to rekindle their past glory days.

“I’m incredibly proud and excited to be joining Williams Racing in just a few weeks,” he said in a video on the team’s social media accounts.

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

“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.”

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Vowles also wanted to express his gratitude to Mercedes as he prepares to move on to this next chapter with Williams, where he looks forward to seeing their 2023 challenger, the FW45, take to the track for the first time.

“I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Mercedes who have been hugely supportive, I leave after 20 years on excellent terms and I’m grateful for everything Toto [Wolff, Mercedes team boss] and the team have provided,” he said.

“With the season around the corner, I can’t wait to get started, and I look forward to the emotion that I’ll feel when the FW45 fires up and drives out of the garage in Bahrain for the first time.”

 

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