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Williams finally has 'spark' after lean years - Vowles

Williams can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, according to new team boss James Vowles.

Williams have a "spark" about them and can finally "see the light at the end of the tunnel", according to new team boss James Vowles. The outfit have started the 2023 campaign as reasonable midfield runners, with Alex Albon picking up a point for 10th in the season-opener in Bahrain, which was Vowles' first race at the helm after being appointed in January. In recent years, Williams have slid towards the back of the grid, with late owner Sir Frank Williams selling his eponymous squad in 2020 to US firm Dorilton Capital. Tasked with returning the team to midfield respectability, Vowles says he can already see signs of pride returning to the Grove outfit, especially after a troubled 2022 winter in which boss Jost Capito and Technical Director FX Demaison both left.

Williams have 'spark' - Vowles

"The best word I could use is 'spark'," Vowles said when asked by media, including RacingNews365.com , how he would describe the vibe at Williams. "There's a spark and it is fascinating to see. There are shoulders lifted, there's heads held high and there is really a direction that they can see where we're going and how we're going to move forward. "It's a team that clearly have had a tremendously difficult winter and difficult few years even prior to that, but they can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel and direction we're going in. "It is very different [to Mercedes, Vowles' previous team]. "You have to take into account that Mercedes was dominant for so many years, it has facilities beyond dreams and desires. "To a certain extent, Williams didn't necessarily have that, it had a period of its history where it didn't have the investment required – and it reflects in the buildings that [are] there. "However, what I can see between both [Williams and Mercedes] is passion, desire to effectively move forward and do the best you can. "That remains whether you're at the back of the grid, or the front."

Still 'weaknesses' in the car

In recent years, the Williams car has developed a reputation for being slippery in a straight line, and so performs well at circuits like Monza. This is mainly down to a lack of downforce, and Vowles believes those traits are still present in the 2023 car. "It's got a lot of the characteristics of last year's car, so, what I mean by that is there's going to be tracks where it's very strong as it was last year as well," he explained before the Saudi Arabian GP. "There are plenty of other tracks where there are some weaknesses that are definitely inherent in the car, still in the car. That will come forward."

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