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Why Wolff is certain Vowles won't be 'fooled' at Williams

James Vowles is set to start as Williams' new Team Principal later in February, and Toto Wolff believes that his former Mercedes colleague has developed one crucial skill to prepare him.

Incoming Williams Formula 1 Team Principal James Vowles will not "be fooled" in his new role, according to Toto Wolff. It was announced in January that Vowles was to leave Mercedes after nearly 20 years to take up the vacant team boss role at Williams, following the resignation of Jost Capito in December 2022. Vowles is one of four new team bosses for the 2023 season, following Andrea Stella (McLaren), Frederic Vasseur (Ferrari) and Alessandro Bravi (Alfa Romeo), and is set to start his new role on 20 February ahead of pre-season testing and the first race in Bahrain on 5 March. Given the technical, engineering, political and commercial aspects team bosses must deal with, Wolff is adamant that his former strategy chief is well-equipped for the role.

Wolff sure about Vowles' future

"[Being a Team Principal] is such a niche position, because you need to have the commercial understanding, the political perspectives and not be fooled by what you've been told by someone in the technical or engineering area," Wolff told media, including RacingNews365.com. "James ticks many of those boxes, and on the commercial side he was involved in many of the activities that we've done in the past few years. "Before the last step was done, he came to me and said: 'What do you think about it?,' and [more often than not], we were very aligned. "I think that he absolutely understands commercial strategy so, even though James' background is in engineering, I would put him more in my camp in terms of skills than let's say a pure engineer. "But having said that, it's about the personality – you can have an engineering background and still be the right personality for Team Principal, or you can have a business or finance background and be able to contribute well to an organisation."

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