James Vowles: “We’re here to be successful”

Written by:
James Vowles
Published on
01 Mar 2023
Est. reading time
4 Min

Our new Team Principal pens his thoughts ahead of the 2023 Formula 1 season

It has been a busy start to life as the Williams Racing Team Principal but in a good and exciting way.
This time of the year is tough for everyone in Formula 1. It’s the culmination of months of work that goes into building and pulling together a racing car that’s made up of thousands of components and then delivered in such a way that the trackside team can operate it.
In my first week, we had an F1 commission almost immediately, which is a significant point where all the teams come together and discuss how we are going to move the sport forwards.
Immediately following that, I went straight out to Bahrain to work with the team and see how we were doing at pre-season testing, then headed back to the factory for a few days, before I head back out to Bahrain for the first Grand Prix weekend of the season.
So, I think busy is the right word to describe my first week!
My first impressions of the team have been solid. First of all, you can see that the car itself is reliable.
We have a good foundation to work from and that doesn’t happen by accident. That happens because there’s hard work that goes into it.
It’s a team that’s had a significant amount of transformation across the last six months, even the last five years.
And yet, through all of that, through all the difficulties, they’ve produced a car that is on track and working.
At the track during pre-season testing, the operation was like clockwork - the car came in, we put fuel in, we put the tyres on, and it went back out again.
And that doesn’t happen by chance; that’s the fundamentals of everyone working together, both at Grove and in Bahrain to achieve those goals.
As a team, we had a strong operation at testing and our drivers also did well.
Alex gives great feedback, has a good understanding of what needs to be done, is a competitive beast and just wants the most out of the car and himself.
That comes across almost immediately.
With Logan, obviously the experience isn’t there, but the performance absolutely is.
He did a solid job every time he was in the car and he’s raring to go - that really is the best description of him right now. He’s certainly got the natural ability within him.
Now we need to provide a platform for both of our drivers, to allow them to shine.

Wear the W

The opportunity to do something and put your mark on it, put your stamp on it, make it your legacy, is a unique opportunity that I could not turn down.
And I hope it’s a journey that I’m going to bring many others on as well through this process.
I’ve had the fortune of being part of - and also winning with - an incredible set of organisations across the years that I’ve been in the sport.
But there is nothing more rewarding than doing something by truly getting your hands dirty to lay the foundations and breathe those into success.
Throughout the entire process, we are looking to set foundations that remain here not for just one year but more three to five years.
It takes time to put those in place, it takes time to cement them and for them to take hold.
What we cannot do is sacrifice any of those for the short-term benefit of the FW45.
That doesn’t mean we’re not going to every single track this season, fighting for every point that’s available to us, it just means that we need to have an eye on the future at all times.
The 2023 season gets going in just a few days now. I’m feeling excited, as I’m sure everyone that’s reading this is.
I’m here because I’m passionate about our sport. It’s a sport that’s looked after me for many, many years.
And it’s my life. As it is for the members of this incredible organisation.
So really, it’s the same feeling as everyone here at Williams Racing, the same as everyone at home.
We’re ready now for when the lights go out on Sunday.
I know a great many of our supporters have been with us through thick and thin and I’d ask that you maintain that passion and strength.
We’re here for the long term and we’re here to be successful.
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