James Vowles teases ‘big name’ signings amid Williams F1 rebuild

James Vowles says Williams have some "big names" ready to join the F1 team.

James Vowles (GBR) Williams Racing Team Principal on the grid. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix,
James Vowles (GBR) Williams Racing Team Principal on the grid. Formula 1…

Williams team principal James Vowles has teased that his side have signed some “big names” as they continue their F1 rebuild.

Vowles led Williams to seventh place in the 2023 constructors’ championship in his first season in charge following his switch from Mercedes, and is aiming to build the British squad back into a front-running outfit in the coming years.

Pat Fry was signed as chief technical officer in November 2023 and Vowles says the F1 veteran is just the first of up to “30” new hires that “have huge accolades in the sport”.

Asked how Williams’ rebuilding phase is going at the Canadian Grand Prix, Vowles replied: “Very good.

“We’re not yet, unfortunately, in a position to announce these, but when we do start to announce who we have signed, they’re going to see big names recognised by a lot of people, across our technical organisation, across our aerodynamic organisation.

“And not small numbers. I think we’re at about 20, 30 people now that have huge accolades in the sport and will contribute towards the success of Williams. We’re in a good position – it’s going the way I’d like it to.

“It’s always slower than you’d like it to [be] – you’d like people through the door tomorrow. But what I’ve done is made sure we wait for the right people, and then sign them and bring them in.”

As well as bolstering their management structure and team personnel, Williams are targeting a big-name driver to partner Alex Albon next season.

Vowles has already made a public pitch for why outgoing Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz should choose Williams as his next F1 home.

“There’s a reason why I left Mercedes to come here,” Vowles said on Sky Sports F1. “This isn’t the Williams of old, and I think first and foremost the fact that we are having Sainz on our list will certainly show you that this isn’t how we’ve performed of late.

“We are prepared to have a driver line-up that I think is going to be one of the best on the grid, if it’s achieved, and that’s a different era that we’re going into. We’re investing tens if not hundreds of millions to [take] this team back to where it was in terms of success.

“There is, in the background, a number of really great signings that will slowly start edging out into the world. But this really is a good journey where we’re now starting to see the hard work that started 12 months ago come into play, and that gives me every reason to be confident that we’re moving forward.

“We were a team that were 10th [in the standings] for many years… Yes, last year we were seventh and we started this year poorly, [but] keep an eye out for us. We’re now starting to put performance to the car race by race, and this is a different entity to what it was before.”

Read More