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Vowles adamant: Williams won't become a 'mini Mercedes'

James Vowles is adamant that his decisions as Williams Team Principal will not have any influence from Mercedes, despite the close historical links between the two outfits.

Williams Mercedes
To news overview © XPBimages

James Vowles insists that Williams will not be under increased influence from Mercedes, despite their close working history and links.

Williams announced Vowles as their new Team Principal ahead of the 2023 season, replacing Jost Capito at the head of the Grove-based team.

The Briton transfers to Williams after spending more than 20 years at the Brackley-based team throughout their various guises, becoming an instrumental figure in Mercedes' championship successes.

The cooperative nature of announcement, the press release for which included comments from Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff, led to questions about the nature of the agreement.

Mercedes and Williams have a long-standing partnership centred around power units. However, the close collaboration has seen Mercedes drivers loaned to Williams in recent seasons, including George Russell and Nyck de Vries.

Vowles: Williams must be independent from Mercedes

Following the announcement, Vowles was asked about the potential political structure between Mercedes and Williams, with the Briton insisting loyalty is with Williams.

"Williams is an entirely independent organisation," Vowles told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"Furthermore, my success is dependent on doing a good job there, and that has to be independent from Mercedes.

"It doesn't mean that [Williams and Mercedes] won't have some form of collaboration, there was collaboration before I joined, but I have to do what is best for Williams.

"The second you put a crisp [new] Williams shirt on, that's where you are, that's where your loyalty is, and that's where my success - and the team's success - will come from.

"So, there's no 'mini Mercedes', no 'B team' or any of that notion, it's about me standing on my own two legs and making a success of the organisation that I'm in."

Wolff: James would tell me to get lost

Mercedes boss Wolff insisted that he fully expected Vowles to prioritise Williams in any decision making process when he joins the team in February.

"There is one thing in common [across all team principals], we are all in these positions to defend our standpoints and our teams, to do everything that's in our power to prosper," commented Wolff.

"If I were to get involved with James and ask him to become 'mini Mercedes', he would tell me to get lost.

"There's always been this speculation that, because of the Mercedes [engine] link, that Williams was a subordinate, but none of that was true, and we never interfered in some kind of driver situation.

"We always understood the authority of team management in their own way, and that's why James is going to do what's good for the team, and do what's good for James in order to bring them forward.

"He's going to be judged on the team's success, and if Mercedes is helpful then he will talk about it, and if he feels they [Williams] need to have a different position, then he will stand for it."

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