George Russell expects James Vowles to face "a few surprises" in his new role as Team Principal at Williams. Vowles departs his position as Motorsport Strategy Director at Mercedes to become Williams' new team boss after working for the Silver Arrows for 21 years, including during their previous guises as British American Racing, Honda and Brawn GP. Russell – who spent the first three years of his F1 career racing for Williams – is pleased for Vowles and believes that he has left Mercedes in a good position regarding management of their strategy. "[I'm] really happy for James," Russell told media, including RacingNews365.com , at the launch of the team's 2023 car, the W14. "I think he thoroughly deserves the opportunity and he's an incredibly hard worker. I think for us, personally, on a strategic level, when it came to race strategies, James had already sort of handed over his duties to others within the team. "He was just overseeing, but actually, throughout all of last year, the decisions were being made by others. So in that regard, I think James has left us in very competent hands."
Russell on Vowles' switch to Williams
While Russell expects that there may be some "surprises" in store for Vowles as he makes the transition from Mercedes to Williams, he has backed the new Team Principal as the right person for the job. "I'm sure he's going to have a few surprises when he goes to Williams, naturally, when you've spent so long at such a team with so many championships under his belt," Russell added. "But, to be honest, I can't think of anybody better Williams could have hired for the job they need to undertake."