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Vowles launches passionate defence with Frank Williams tribute

James Vowles believes he would be a "fool" to throw away the legacy of the Williams Formula 1 team, with a tribute to late founder Sir Frank Williams hidden in the 2024 livery.

RP 2024 Launch 1 Original
To news overview © Williams F1

Williams died in November 2021 after a long-illness having sold the team in 2020 to Dorilton Capital, stepping down as Team Principal.

He was replaced by Simon Roberts, Jost Capito and finally Vowles in the role, with the former Mercedes strategy chief taking the reins in January 2023, and guiding the team to seventh in the standings in his first full season at the helm - the best showing since 2017.

Vowles has been instrumental in modernising facilities and equipment at Williams' Grove base, with the team having fallen well behind rivals due to a lack of investment over recent years as it slid towards the rear of the field.

The team has won only one Grand Prix since 2004 - Pastor Maldonado's shock 2012 Spanish Grand Prix victory - but Vowles is determined to bring the team back into contention near the front.

But he is not about to disregard Williams' sizeable F1 history, with 114 Grand Prix wins and nine Constructors' (second only to Ferrari's 16) and seven Drivers' titles - with the 2024 car featuring Williams' original logo embedded in the new livery.

Vowles' passionate Williams defence

"It is one of the biggest brands, certainly in motorsport and the UK, and I have no desire whatsoever to change it because it means a tremendous amount," Vowles told media including RacingNews365.

"Frank and his legacy remain in us and you will see that in the livery now as well, you see his arrow subtly embedded in there, you'll see it at Silverstone as well.

"I really wanted his mark on the car to reflect that, I am not here to replace him, I am here to carry on the legacy that is Willias and its huge heritage.

"In the experience centre, you can walk around all the cars from 1977 so that's nearly 50 years worth of cars, of which there are many champions there, it would be a fool who got rid of that because why would you?

"It still creates the brand that is here today, and it is one of our strengths against all others, I still don't know what AlphaTauri's new name is.

"I was in a F1 Commission meeting earlier and they mentioned it, and that is part of the problem, it doesn't have legacy, doesn't hold weight in my mind.

"You get legacy through championships, growth, and a tremendous amount of the world following and believing in you.

"Williams means a tremendous amount to me, it is the first team I really followed and it is what I want to retain because it is a strength and not a weakness."

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