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New Williams boss says revival task more difficult than expected

The team got off to a good start in Bahrain by scoring points with Alex Albon, but new team boss James Vowles says their dreams of becoming a top three team will come in the future.

New Williams team boss James Vowles believes the task of bringing Williams back to the front will be "not one of months, but years." Vowles took over the reigns as Team Principal two weeks ago and has already highlighted some of the key areas why the team has struggled to repeat their greatest hits of the 80s and 90s. They started off in the hybrid era competing for podiums and the occasional race win when Mercedes had problems, but lack of investment and changes in leadership has led to them slipping down the order in the last decade. "Any organisation - irrespective of whether its a Formula 1 team or otherwise - cannot be a high performing outfit if you, a) take money away from it, and b) basically have such disruption across a number of years that you end up in a poor situation," Vowles told media, including RacingNews365.com . "That's where Williams is. It's not for lack of good people, it's just simply lack of stability."

Williams lacking 'key technical personnel'

Williams starts the 2023 F1 season in a rather unconventional situation of not having a technical director or head of aerodynamics, after losing both Francois-Xavier Demaison and Dave Wheater over the winter. Vowles explains how these departures have left the team "under strain" at the start of the season. "We are in a position where we are lacking key technical personnel and the team's definitely under strain at the moment to ensure that we're filling those voids as best we can," he explained. Over the years one of the main things that has been highlighted by those in charge at the team has been the divide between trackside operations and those back at the factory in Grove, Oxfordshire. Vowles believes that building that relationship should be a priority, which is why he has been sending regular email updates from the track to the team in Grove. "The way I've been building it is walking around meeting everyone, very open meet-and-greets, town hall [meetings], but effectively the way I can present myself to them is very open and honest speech through email and through physical communication. "That will continue and I'll provide everyone as much of my time as I can do because their inherent knowledge is what will drive us forward to success."

Williams needs 'political change' to occur at top

Vowles believes there will need to be a level of "political change" among the top teams in order for teams lower down the order to "make up lost time" in the future. "A realistic step for this organisation is first and foremost, make sure that every year we are just edging forward and not stationary. That has to be dream number one. "Dream number two is we have to set a sensible period of time of the future - and it's years - where we start to actually break into sixth, fifth, fourth. "From then onwards, the sport will really probably have to have some level of political change to allow teams to break into the top three." Aston Martin has been a team that has shown what can be achieved through investment and a recruitment drive, but Vowles is still pessimistic about the state of play between the big three teams. "They're [Aston Martin] clearly investing to go forward. The wind tunnel is a shared entity with Mercedes and the whole rear of the car is pretty much a shared entity with Mercedes - so what they've done well is aerodynamic development. "But I ask the question back to you: I wonder if it's also that perhaps some of the other teams have lost their way a little bit and that they'll come back to the fore? I still think it's very difficult to consistently break into the top three."

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