Alexander Albon, Williams, Silverstone, 2023

Vowles bringing “winning mentality” of Mercedes to Williams – Albon

2023 F1 season

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Alexander Albon has welcomed the experience new Williams team principal James Vowles brings from multiple world champions Mercedes.

The team, which finished last in the 2023 championship, embarks on the new season following a change of management. Investment firm Dorilton Capital, which bought the team in autumn 2020 and installed Jost Capito in charge, have replaced him with Vowles, who was previously Mercedes’ chief strategist.

Speaking at the launch of the team’s livery for the upcoming season, Albon said he had already “been on phone calls and grabbed dinner” with Vowles.

“He motivates all of us to listen to him and to understand why Mercedes do certain things and the reasons for it,” Albon explained. He said the team wants “to have that winning mentality” that Mercedes have used.

But while admitting “it’s great to have him onboard” Albon said the timing of Vowles’ arrival was not ideal. “It’s a little bit tricky just because of this being almost peak month for [us] getting ready for the next year,” he said.

He was also keen to stress his appreciation for the role Capito played in bringing him back to an F1 race seat following his season as Red Bull’s reserve driver.

“I like Jost very much and we had a great relationship together. He was the person who brought me back into the sport. So I have a lot of time for him.”

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“James coming on board now, with his experience with Mercedes, hopefully that can obviously pull things forward and increase the evolution of the car,” Albon added.

Vowles has years of experience with champions Mercedes
“You can very much tell with James that he’s had a lot of experience in all areas of the company at Mercedes, so hopefully we can put that to good use.”

Williams have only scored in 12 races over the last five seasons and their last win came over a decade ago. Albon says Vowles’ involvement across various positions in Mercedes means “it’s great” for the team to soon “have that knowledge and information that he has.” Williams had been through some “tough years”, Albon added, and Vowles’ arrival “gives a great insight to just what it takes [to win].”

“You can see that he’s very keen, he’s motivated to get the team to where he knows the team can be,” said Albon. “It’s exciting.”

Albon has been in contact with current Mercedes driver George Russell about Vowles too, and says praise for his new boss not just comes from his rival but also from Capito.

Vowles will report to Williams’ owners, who have kept Albon in the loop on the changes. “It’s pretty open,” said Albon of his relationship with Dorilton. “I’d say that’s the first thing. I get to speak to the board quite often, and the main thing is long-term vision. I think that’s important for any kind of investment company.

“They really do see the future, they are investing, and you see also with James. I know the areas that we want to improve. We have this big sense that they are fully behind everything. That’s all there is really to it. I think they trust me as well, and we get on very well.”

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Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...
Keith Collantine
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6 comments on “Vowles bringing “winning mentality” of Mercedes to Williams – Albon”

  1. It’s crazy to think that Williams last constructors title was 26 years ago (1997). Even crazier to think that it was just the year before McLarens last constructors title (1998).

    1. Indeed, it’s been a very long time. And Ferrari (2008) and Renault (2006) are also getting on in years.

  2. petebaldwin (@)
    20th February 2023, 14:41

    It’s not going to happen overnight but it would be great if Williams can start making some in-roads into the midfield. They’ve just been making up the numbers for so long but they now have two (hopefully) decent drivers, and in Vowles, they’ve got someone who knows what he’s doing running the show. Hopefully over the next couple of years, they can push on and start competing with some of the teams a bit further up the grid.

  3. I just hope his Mercedes winning mentality will be different from Paddy Lowe’s one.

  4. The weakest link in the Mercedes dynasty was the strategy group led by Vowles. We’ll see if he can bring success to Williams.

  5. Lets just hope he doesnt bring along other parts of the Mercedes mentality along..

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