Williams’ Formula 1 Team Principal James Vowles denies that he is forming a ‘Mercedes B-team’ as he takes on the leading role within the squad.
Vowles departs Mercedes having played a key role in its success throughout the turbo-hybrid era, helping it win eight consecutive Constructors’ Championships.
His arrival follows the departure of Jost Capito, who opted to retire at the conclusion of the 2022 campaign.
The Williams team has endured a difficult run of form, often languishing close to or at the root of the pecking order across the last several years.
Vowles is not the first ex-Mercedes employee to take on a challenge at Williams, as Paddy Lowe joined the team in 2017 before leaving two years later.
But as Williams looks to bring itself up the order with a new leader in place, Vowles outlined that he is not looking to bring a Mercedes tie to the organisation.
“Williams is an incredibly independent team in its own right that has formed its own history, its own heritage,” he said. “There’s no mini-Mercedes or B-team or any of that notion.
“This is about me standing on my own two legs and making a success with an organisation. My success is subject and dependent on me doing a good job there, that has to be independent of Mercedes.”
Williams has been powered by Mercedes power units since the 2014 season, but Vowles suggested that any decisions going forward regarding partnerships will not have personal connections.
“It doesn’t mean that Mercedes and ourselves won’t have collaboration in some form or another,” he said.
“There was collaboration before I joined – but I have to do what is best for Williams from here onwards.
“When you put a crisp Williams shirt on, that’s where you are, that’s where your loyalty is and that’s where my success and the team’s success will come from.”
Vowles will officially start his role on February 20 next month – the Briton has highlighted that he is yet to step foot in its Grove factory as team boss.