George Russell pokes fun at James Vowles after Mercedes exit

James Vowles will become Williams’ new team principal in February.

At the end of the 2022 season Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Williams and McLaren were all forced to change their team principal for one reason or another, and while Ferrari and McLaren were quick in appointing their replacements, it took the other two teams much longer.

Alfa Romeo are yet to replace Fred Vasseur, however Williams have finally managed to fill the void created by Jost Capito’s departure by appointed Mercedes strategy director James Vowles.

The Brit joins Williams having been with Mercedes ever since they joined Formula 1 in 2010, finally fulfilling his dream of become a team principal after so long learning from Toto Wolff.

Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff were both quick to pay tribute to the man who has been such a huge part of their journeys in Formula 1, wishing Vowles well in his new challenge.

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George Russell, who has only spend a season with Vowles since moving the other way from Williams to Mercedes, has now shared a message in response to his move to become Williams boss.

“James, it’s George,” began Russell, playing on Vowles’ tendency to introduce himself when coming on the team radio to speak with a driver.

“Congratulations on your new role, thoroughly deserved. Thank you for everything you’ve done for Mercedes and the support you’ve given me along the journey. See you in Bahrain!”

Mercedes strategy team, headed up by Vowles, has been one of the most impressive in the paddock, with the Silver Arrows often dragging themselves to unlikely race victories with the help of intelligent strategy calls.

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The most recent example of this would be at the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, where Lewis Hamilton was told to commit to a two-stop strategy, despite Verstappen making a one-stop work, in the hopes that the Brit would catch up with the Dutchman on fresher tyres towards the end of the race.

READ: Lewis Hamilton reacts to James Vowles’ exit on Instagram

Vowles’ calculations were correct and Hamilton made the pass on his rival towards the end of the race, showing the intelligence of the Silver Arrows’ strategy team.

Toto Wolff has explained that he is not concerned about the departure of his strategy director, claiming that the team have been expecting a potential departure for years now and have planned accordingly.

The Austrian has said that the strategy team that work under Vowles are very independent and talented, making them more than capable of stepping up after the departure of their boss.