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James Vowles

Vowles reveals biggest 'rude awakening' since joining Williams

After joining Williams as their new Team Principal ahead of the 2023 F1 season, James Vowles admits that there was an aspect of the team that both surprised and impressed him.

James Vowles 1
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To news overview © Williams

James Vowles has revealed how the main "rude awakening" he encountered in his new role at Williams also left him impressed.

Vowles joined the squad as their new Team Principal ahead of the 2023 F1 season, having previously held the position of Motorsport Strategy Director at Mercedes.

After working at the Brackley-based outfit for 21 years – including in their former guises as British American Racing, Honda and Brawn GP – Vowles was surprised to see an aspect of Williams that differed to many other F1 teams.

"It's a mixture of rude awakening and how impressed I am," Vowles told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"There were some very much what I would consider basics that are in place in other teams and have been since almost 15 years – especially for example around certain software systems, software systems that allow you to properly understand where all your parts are – [that] simply doesn't exist [at Williams]."

Vowles 'taken aback' by aspect of Williams

While this came as a shock to Vowles, the new team boss was also able to recognise the magnitude of what Williams had managed to achieve without the same facilities as some other teams.

"As a result of that, what impresses me is that, before I joined, they built the car you see in front of you," Vowles explained.

"15,000 pieces coming together, fitting, working and seemingly going down the track fairly quickly.

"That's an incredible accomplishment, but clearly not how we can move forward. So we need systems in place and structures in place, and that was probably the one [aspect] that took me aback the most."

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