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Marko: Mercedes 'tense' after Vowles departure

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko is not worried that Williams will become a 'B-team' to Mercedes following the departure of James Vowles.

The departure of James Vowles from Mercedes is one of the more high profile moves to be made in the Formula 1 off-season. As one of the original 'Brackley Boys' Vowles has been at the team for over 20 years through its various incarnations. He will make the switch to Williams to take up the role as Team Principal at the end of February, after Toto Wolff said that he would have needed to step aside if Vowles progressed further in his career at Mercedes. "For him to move up, I would have needed to move aside and I feel that there is still something lifting me and that I can contribute," he told media, including RacingNews365.com . Vowles confirmed that he does not expect Williams to become a 'mini Mercedes' with his move, despite the historical links between the two outfits. Red Bull Advisor Helmut Marko also believes Vowles left on his own terms, with his departure leading to a 'tense' atmosphere within the team. "I have completely different information," he said to Germany's Sport1 when asked about the nature of Vowles move. "Vowles left on his own initiative and, apparently, has taken good technicians with him. "My sources tell me that's why the mood at Mercedes is tense."

Marko: Mercedes will still be our main rival

Despite the loss of one of their senior personnel, Marko believes that Mercedes will still be one of Red Bull's main title rivals after seeing a resurgence in pace towards the end of 2022. “We’ll see,” he said when prompted about whether Vowles leaving will lead to a weaker team. “But I still believe that Mercedes will be our biggest challenger when it comes to defending our title.”

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