James Vowles fires back at claim about Mercedes and Williams

Williams announced the signing of James Vowles as team principal earlier this week.

Since it was announced that Jost Capito was set to depart Williams at the end of last season, fans of the team have been forced to wait until earlier this week for a replacement to be announced.

The team have now announced that they have impressively managed to lure James Vowles from Mercedes to fill their vacancy, with the Brit departing the Silver Arrows having been with the team since its entry into F1 in 2010.

Vowles has been working as Mercedes’ strategy director, becoming a fan favourite in the sport in the process with his infamous team radio messages to the drivers becoming a highlight of some race weekends.

Mercedes have a strong relationship with Williams, having loaned George Russell to the team for three years amidst a number of other mutual beneficial deals between the two teams.

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Despite this relationship between the two teams, Vowles has denied that Mercedes have any control over his new employers, insisting that it is a mutually beneficial relationship between two independent teams. 

I wouldn’t consider it a mini-Mercedes. Williams is an incredibly independent team in its own right, which has formed its own history, its own heritage,” said Vowles via Sky Sports.

“Williams is an entirely independent organisation, and furthermore, it’s one that my success is subject and dependent on me doing a good job there, and that has to be independent of Mercedes.

“It doesn’t mean that Mercedes and ourselves won’t have collaboration in some form or another, there was collaboration before I joined, but I have to do what is best for Williams from here onwards.”

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Williams will be hoping to become a regular points contender once again under the leadership of Vowles, having also altered their driver lineup ahead of the upcoming season.

After Nicholas Latifi’s failure to live up to expectations, Alex Albon will be partnered by rookie Logan Sargeant, who managed to secure the required super licence points in the F2 season finale.

With Williams’ team principal vacancy filled, it is now only Alfa Romeo who are yet to fill their void, after Fred Vasseur moved to Ferrari to replace Mattia Binotto.