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Vowles pinpoints first priority after starting at Williams

The ex-Mercedes man officially assumed control of Williams on 20th February after his gardening leave ended.

New Williams Formula 1 Team Principal James Vowles says his first priority is to put a new technical structure in place. Vowles officially started work at Williams on 20th February as replacement for Jost Capito, who resigned in December 2022, along with Technical Director FX Demaison. However, while the team boss role has now been filled, Demaison's replacement has yet to be named, along with a similar vacancy following Dave Wheater's departure as Head of Aerodynamics. Williams were fortunate in that Vowles was not placed on a long period of gardening leave by Mercedes, with high profile technical jobs, such as technical director, often requiring these extended notice periods.

Vowles' Williams priority

"I think the primary thing is we don't have the structure in place technically, obviously, as a result of the changes that were made," Vowles told media, including RacingNews365 , when asked about his priorities. "Number one is: Let's put in place a proper set of structures, in terms of technical director and head of aero. "That's number one, because clearly an organisation needs those to move forward. "There is a strong organisation in place, and it's acting without a TD. As we speak, there's a car on track, it's built, they did an incredible job over the winter to achieve that. "What's clear is this is not about short-term putting someone in place, this is about long-term and making sure we have the right person in place. "We're not going to rush a decision, the key is making sure we find the person that fits the organisation for the long-term."

Differences to Mercedes

In leaving Mercedes - a team forced to come down to the budget cap instead of working up towards it like Williams, Vowles admitted that the tweak in mindset was a "stark contrast." "It's just understanding where Williams is," he said. "I had the benefit really, of being in an organisation where if you required something, you asked for it, and you're provided with it. "We had everything you could possibly imagine. "And it's a stark contrast to where I am now, especially in an environment in the cost cap where it's difficult to request or even pay for what you need."

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