Lewis Hamilton reacts to James Vowles’ exit on Instagram

Williams announced earlier this week that James Vowles will become their new team principal in February.

The Formula 1 ‘silly season’ spread to the team principals in 2022, as shock moves between teams seemed to be announced on a daily basis late last year.

While most of the moves were part of the domino effect started by Mattia Binotto’s resignation from his role at Ferrari, the F1 world was shocked when Williams announced the departure of team principal Jost Capito and technical director François-Xavier Demaison.

It took until this week from the team to announce their replacement for Capito and much to the surprise of many fans, Williams have managed to lure James Vowles from Mercedes to fill their vacancy.

Volwes served as Mercedes’ Strategy Director and became a fan favourite in F1 for his occasional team radio messages to the Mercedes drivers, where he would always introduce himself before delivering a message.

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Having been with Mercedes ever since they became a part of Formula 1 in 2010, Vowles has been working with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton for the entirety of the Brit’s Mercedes career.

The 38-year-old has now paid tribute to Mercedes’ departing Strategy Director, wishing Vowles well in his adventure with Williams and thanking him for everything that they achieved together.

“I am so proud and grateful to have worked with James for the past 10 years,” Hamilton wrote on his Instagram story.

“Together we have won over 80 races and 15 titles. This is such a great move and I couldn’t be happier for him.

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“We all need change in order to progress and I’m confident that he’ll push Williams forward to being more competitive. There is nobody more deserving of this role. Wishing you the best brother.”

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Vowles’ move is the latest in a long and beneficial relationship between Mercedes and Williams, with Valtteri Bottas and George Russell both moving in the other direction in recent years.

The new Williams team principal has claimed that despite the team’s links to Mercedes and his history with the team, he will not be looking to run Williams as a ‘mini-Mercedes’, as many have expected him to do.

Williams are an exciting team to be involved in in 2023, as Alex Albon and new man Logan Sargeant make up an exciting and promising driver pairing for the team under the new regulations.