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James Vowles

Vowles declares 'greatness' goal for Williams as rebuild continues

James Vowles wants "greatness for this organisation" as the Williams team boss feels the team has not earned the right for "respect" just yet.

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Vowles is entering his second season at the helm of Williams, having guided the team to seventh in the championship in 2023.

The team made good progress forward with its car development as ex-Mercedes strategy chief Vowles also set about modernising the team, with infrastructure lacking in various departments.

Vowles is eager to install his Mercedes championship-winning mentality into the team but feels despite the progress made in 2023, the team still has a long way to go to earn the "respect" as it looks to be what he called a "serious contender" once again.

Vowles on Williams rebuild

"I'll start by only saying that I am not terribly interested in where we end up this year, the same as last year," Vowles told media including RacingNews365.

"It means a lot more to me [this year], because this car has a lot more of my thought process, DNA and structure in it, and at this time of year, if you asked the 10 teams, I hope all of them would say: 'We've done a really good job', and I'd be disappointed if they didn't, but I am happy with what we have done.

"It is about as far as you can push the organisation to add technologies and performances in various different ways, but the problem is I cannot tell you where that means we are going to shake out.

"You do get a feeling as to whether or not you've done a poor job and when you have that, you'll frequently downplay it, but that is not where we are.

"We have so much that we have changed that we need to understand it on track, and then determine the weaknesses that fall out because it all looks fairly sensible.

"If last year was a good year, that is not what I call a good year, it was an okay year, but I am really pleased for the organisation.

"It was the best we've done since 2017, but I want greatness for this organisation - and greatness only comes about because we are prepared to keep breaking everything that we've been doing since this point and keep accepting that where we are is not good enough - and that won't happen in one year.

"That strong statement is centred around: 'Do I think you'll look at us and think we'll perform [better] than last year?' I certainly hope so, but what I am more interested in is when you look at Williams and think they're a serious contender for moving back towards the front.

"I don't think we've earned the respect yet enough to have that."

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