Head of Vehicle Performance at Williams
, Dave Robson, stated he can clearly see his team transforming after one year since the arrival of the new team principal.
joined the Williams F1
team as the new team only about three months ahead of the season 2023, so the British engineer didn't have enough time to make changes.
However, he still led his team to finish in seventh place (its best result in six years) which was one of the reasons why Sky Sports commentator David Croft named him the team principal of the year
A person who had the chance to work closely with the new team principal, Dave Robson, told Motorsport.com
: "There are all sorts of things that James has sort of unlocked."
Coming from a team like Mercedes that won the Championship in multiple consecutive seasons, Vowles brought an immense amount of knowledge and experience with him. One of the primary shifts he made within the team was to focus more on long-term goals.
"I think that probably one of the biggest things is, for the first time in a long time, we're not just focused on today and tomorrow, so you can afford to have a much more long-term or medium-term view on things."
The new team principal was able to recruit a new chief technical officer, Pat Fry, who has been with the team since the second half of the 2023 season.
Fry himself mentioned it was refreshing to work in a team that is prepared to make investments
in places where they need to be made in order to progress and one day compete for the Championship. Robson continued:
"Having that sort of experience and authority come in means that there's not that much discussion, the investment needs to be made, the investors are prepared to make that investment."
While Williams started focusing on the 2024 car very early and is expected to make significant progress, the head of vehicle performance suggested it is still a few years before Vowles's efforts materialize. He added:
"It's still probably another year or two from fully materialising into performance, but you can really feel the sense of change now."