Toto Wolff reveals why he didn’t block James Vowles’ move

James Vowles has signed for Williams as their new team principal following the departure of Jost Capito.

It took Williams longer than expected to find a replacement for former team principal Jost Capito, who shockingly departed the team at the end of last season.

Eventually the team managed to get a worthy candidate in the form of Mercedes strategic director James Vowles, who has been with the Silver Arrows ever since they joined F1 back in 2010.

The Brit has been instrumental to the team’s dominance over the past decade, being the brains behind some of the stunning strategy calls that have led to some to Lewis Hamilton’s many race wins.

Mercedes have been questioned for allowing such a key member of staff to leave the team just before the start of a new season, however team principal Toto Wolff has explained why Vowles was allowed to join Williams.

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The Austrian has said that Vowles’ responsibilities had increased in recent seasons, making a team principal role the next natural progression for him.

“Beyond the strategy, James has been looking after driver contracts, reserve driver contracts and many, many other political topics together with me and in the past year, we decided that he would hand over the reins to a new team of strategists,” he said.

“And, since July, James has been moving off the pit wall and not actively interfering anymore in the decision-making on race weekends.

“Being with me and basically overlooking the situation like I have done for many years now, [this] next step is something that James deserves.

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“But because within our organisation, for him to move up, I would need to move aside and I feel there is something left in me that I can add or contribute.”

Vowles will join Williams at an exciting time, as American rookie Logan Sargeant joins the team to replace the struggling Nicholas Latifi alongside the ever-consistent Alex Albon.

The team will be looked to get away from the bottom of the championship in 2023 and become regular contenders for points, having struggled to score in the majority of races last season.