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James Vowles

Vowles explains why Team Principal role is not a 'massive leap'

After previously holding the role of Motorsport Strategy Director at Mercedes, James Vowles will now make the step up to Team Principal at Williams. Despite the change of position, Vowles does not view the move as a huge jump.

James Vowles 1
To news overview © Williams

James Vowles does not believe that his switch to the role of Team Principal at Williams will be a "massive leap".

Vowles is departing his position as Motorsport Strategy Director at Mercedes to take on the new challenge after working for the Brackley-based squad for 21 years, including during their previous guises as British American Racing, Honda and Brawn GP.

While he admits that the switch is a "jump", it is not one that Vowles views as a huge step given his increasing responsibilities at the Silver Arrows in recent times.

"It is a leap, it is a jump. But I don't think it's a massive leap," Vowles told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"Simply because I've been fortunate enough to carry over a number of these responsibilities in Mercedes, plus a few other external ones with external motorsport activities."

Vowles compares move to a 'divorce'

Despite this, Vowles acknowledges that one of the biggest changes will be in terms of the relationships that he has built over the years at Mercedes.

"It's the same as if I asked any of you to change what you're doing and move on to a different organisation, even perhaps if you're doing the same job," he explained.

"You have to reform your relationships, you have to build the team around you that you want, that you're with, and you have to reform the social groups that are now disappearing, disappearing after 20 years.

"The best analogy I've used so far is [that it's] almost like a divorce. It's hard – there's a lot of people that are incredibly close to me that I've grown up with.

"But I'm going into an arena that has people that are just as intelligent, just as motivated, just as committed and just as hungry for success. It's a different starting point but the end goal is going to be hopefully no different."

Excitement of new role motivates Vowles

In terms of whether the change will be difficult, Vowles feels that his excitement about the new role overrides this.

"Is it difficult? I'm not seeing it that way," the former Mercedes man said.

"Perhaps I'm getting carried away with the excitement and the want and will to start this and really get into it, but it's not trepidation.

"I'm waking up every morning – I don't mind saying – at the moment at 5am and just scribbling down thoughts, notes, directions. That's the level of motivation that is just going to keep me going for years and years, I'm confident of it."

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