James Vowles promises ‘big names from big teams’ as Williams recruitment drive continues

Sam Cooper
Williams' James Vowles

James Vowles has promised more new recruits at Williams

James Vowles has teased the announcement of “big names from big teams” as Williams continue to bolster their ranks.

While much of the focus in Spa was on Otmar Szafnauer and Alan Permane’s departures, another Alpine staffer out the door was Pat Fry who swapped Enstone for Grove to join Vowles’ project.

But it appears the former Mercedes motorsport strategy director is not content with the signing of Fry alone and has promised more names to come through the door.

James Vowles says Williams not done with recruitment

With Fry on board in both the chief technical officer role and the technical director one for the time being, Vowles is continuing his mission to raise Williams from also-rans to back where they once operated.

To do that, he has identified a number of other staff he wants on board and has revealed some have already joined the project.

“For the remainder of the team, we’ve started to bulk out,” he told The Mirror. “We haven’t made it all public but there are some good hires coming in.

“It will take time, as always in Formula 1, but across the next 12 months we’ll see some big names from big teams all coming across. That’s what makes me excited. The direction of travel to where we are today is before we’ve even bulked the team out in the way that I’d like to.”

A number of teams have shown a willingness to poach staff away from their competitors of late with McLaren making hirings from Red Bull and Ferrari.

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On Fry in particular, Vowles said the man with 36 years’ worth of F1 experience under his belt wants to put “his fingerprint on the car.”

“The beauty of Pat is he fills both the roles of the chief technical officer and the technical director,” Vowles said.

“They’re two different roles – CTO is normally looking a bit more macro, the structures the systems, how do we make the company grow across all areas, while TD is into the detail of what it’s going to look like.

“Pat will fill, whilst we find a TD, both of those roles. That’s his own desire and will. He’s very much built like me where he wants his DNA and his fingerprint on the car, so that works beautifully in unison.

“We have some ideas – it doesn’t mean we’re not actively trying to find a TD – but the urgency of that is perhaps not quite as much as what we now realise. Pat will do a great job in that area.”

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