James Vowles says Williams are still in process of hiring a F1 technical director, as rebuilding process is on after being torn apart.
Having taken up the Williams team principal role after leaving Mercedes at a short notice, Vowles is in a rebuilding phase at the Grove-based F1 outfit. Amid the new hiring from him and Dorilton Capital in different roles, they are looking for a technical director.
Since the departure of Jost Capito and FX Demaison, Williams haven’t got a person on the technical side of things. They have been managing it internally while looking out for a personnel. Vowles open to have Chief Technical Officer and Technical Director.
That will segregate the job and allow people to focus on two different side even though they are in the same department. But Vowles is not looking for a person for a two-year job, he wants long-term commitment and is giving himself six months to find one.
“There are some great people up and down the paddock, but it’s finding the right fit for the organisation we have, the right fit for someone who wants to be in here growing it for not just one or two years but multiple years,” said Vowles to F1 webiste. “Someone who has experience and knowledge, but the right cultural aspects that match my own, match where I want the organisation to be.
“It’s going well, I’m just not rushing the process. I hope within six months we have a firm pair of feet on the ground. It sounds like a long time, but it’s got to be done right. It’s not about this year, it’s not even about next year, it’s about the long term. We had Fred [Brousseau] join us [from the aerospace industry], he’s our chief operating officer.
“I think that sort of fit is very good, it brings experience from different industry that is relevant to what we are doing but a different view on how we do things. But in a Technical Director role or perhaps a Chief Technical Officer role – you might need one or both – you very much need someone who knows how to do that within our business,” summed up Vowles.
It hasn’t been easy for Vowles at Williams considering how torn apart the F1 team has been in the last few years. He notes about putting proper system to stabilise the foundations which got shaken up amid lack of finances but this isn’t happening while sacrificing the progress being brought about on track side working.
“Williams has been torn apart through different mechanisms, one because it was a place where you could find incredible people so the top teams would take them,” said Vowles. “We are having to regrow what we had. The foundations aren’t proper stable foundations. We have got to dig deep, put proper systems in place to build on.
“We won’t sacrifice anything on long term to make small gain for this year. Everything we are doing will still bring goodness to this year, but making sure there are proper systems next year, in ’25 and in ’26 as well. This business is unique in that every two weeks, you know whether you’re good enough or not. Most businesses don’t have that. That’s a blessing but also a curse, because every two weeks, you have to take people’s focus from the upcoming race and put it on ’24 [and beyond],” summed up Vowles.
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