James Vowles confirms ‘iconic’ Williams brand name not going anywhere

Henry Valantine
Alex Albon ahead of Williams colleague Logan Sargeant, Williams. Bahrain, March 2023.

Alex Albon ahead of his Williams team-mate Logan Sargeant. Bahrain, March 2023.

New Williams team principal James Vowles has said he sees “no reason” to move away from what is an “iconic” Formula 1 name.

The Williams family ceased their involvement in the team when Sir Frank and Claire Williams sold their stake in the company to Dorilton Capital back in the summer of 2020, but their family marque has remained on the cars ever since, with Dorilton opting not to rebrand.

Williams is currently going through the leanest period in its illustrious history, with their 114th and most recent race victory being Pastor Maldonado taking the chequered flag in Spain in 2012, but their team principal has affirmed he has no intention of seeing the Williams name disappear from its cars.

“Williams is an iconic brand and I see no reason to move away from the most iconic brand in sport – apart from Ferrari,” Vowles said, as per Motorsport-Total.com.

Claire Williams has also partially returned to the fold this year, having recently been announced as a brand ambassador for WAE Technologies, and she is also set to meet up with the new team boss in future.

“I understand a dinner is planned at some point,” Vowles said.

The Williams team principal is also assessing his options moving forward, with new power unit regulations coming into Formula 1 from the 2026 season onwards.

He revealed that the team are set to make their decision on which supplier they will be working with from then this season, offering plenty of lead time ahead of the changeover period in regulations.

Vowles, who moved to the Grove-based team after being an integral part of Mercedes’ success, has said Williams’ current customer deal with his former team is serving its purpose well at the moment.

While he is still set to shop around for what else may be out there, it appears a continuation of the Mercedes deal is the most likely outcome at this point.

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“We are obviously happy with the arrangement that has been in place for many years,” Vowles said.

“Mercedes has produced the best power unit on average over the last 15 years. And there are Mercedes and other OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] that we’re reviewing, of course, because we have to and we have to make sure we review the market.

“We will make a decision shortly, but in terms of the relationship with Mercedes so far, they are doing an incredible job.

“It has to be this year anyway. Based on where all the teams are going to move, I think it will be difficult to see teams moving away from their current pattern after this year.”