Toto Wolff reacts to losing chief strategist James Vowles

Williams have announced that Mercedes' chief strategist will fill the team's vacant team principal role, following the departure of Jost Capito.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has hailed the team’s former chief strategist, James Vowles, as a “highly valued member”, following Williams’ announcement that Vowles has moved to the Grove-based team to become their new team principal.

Williams have been searching for a new boss following the shock departure of Jost Capito, who announced his exit from the team not long after the conclusion of last season.

Vowles has been associated with Mercedes’ Brackley base for almost 20 years, with the Brit having also worked for Brawn GP, the side that the Silver Arrows bought out following their remarkable success in 2009.

With that in mind, Vowles will take to Williams a winning mentality and a hunger to succeed, given that he’s enjoyed so much success whilst working for the Brackley-based outfit.

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Following the announcement, Wolff has shared his thanks to Vowles, who he believes “has all the necessary skills” to become an excellent team boss.

“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,” Wolff explained.

“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.

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“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 1.

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“We wish him every success and are delighted that he will take this next step in his career with Williams, a strong technical partner of ours and one that has a place close to my own heart.”

Vowles’ switch to Williams as a team principal will see him step into the unknown; however, he has all the credentials to suggest that he’ll be a success at the historic side.

His first task will be to oversee the team’s 2023 livery launch, which is scheduled to take place on February 6.