The team principal Jenson Button dubs ‘one of the best’ on the F1 grid

Thomas Maher
Jenson Button looks on as he works for Sky F1 during the United States Grand Prix.

Jenson Button looks on as he works for Sky F1 during the United States Grand Prix.

2009 F1 World Champion Jenson Button has singled out one of the team principals for particular praise in his role.

Button believes that James Vowles is impressing massively in his first year as a team boss, having stepped up to a team leadership role after years as head of strategy at the Mercedes team.

Vowles was announced as the successor to Jost Capito for 2023, and the British engineer has established himself as a remarkably calm and level-headed leader who is overseeing clear change at the Grove-based team as points have become a more regular occurrence.

Jenson Button: James Vowles’ leadership has united Williams

With Williams having spent years in the doldrums in the final years of the Williams family ownership and as new owners Dorilton Capital assumed control, former Williams F1 driver and current team ambassador shed light on the impact Vowles has made in his role.

“He’s amazing, and it’s all about management,” he told Sky F1 during the Mexican Grand Prix weekend.

“He’s such a good leader. It was a bit split at Williams before – there were the believers, and there were the people who wanted to do it in the way that it’s always been done.

“So now it’s one team and I think that makes a massive difference under his leadership. Also with the fan base that they have, he’s very good at doing these articulate post-race chats with the fans.

“I think he is one of the sport’s best team principals and could be one of the best team principals in the future.”

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Jenson Button praises Williams’ progress

Williams currently occupy seventh in the Constructors’ Championship and are no longer strangers to the points places as they’ve accumulated 28 so far this year – including a double points finish in the United States as Logan Sargeant claimed his first point of the year.

Button, who drove for Williams as a rookie back in 2000, said he’s enjoying seeing the progress they’re making – particularly as he’s privy to the changes being made as Vowles moulds the team in his image.

“Everyone loves seeing a team like Williams perform, they’ve had some really difficult time,” he said.

“So, to see them progress this year and get the amount of points they have, and both drivers have scored now – it is great. Then they have these one-off races where they can really perform well fighting in the top 10.”

As for what technical changes he’s seen made to the car over the course of the year, Button said the ebb and flow of their form is still related to dependency on circuit characteristics – albeit less so than in the past.

“They made a big step in terms of aerodynamics, but then they’ve started concentrating next year,” he said.

“So, no, it’s just the way the circuits are – it works on different circuits better than others. But even on the circuits it doesn’t work as well, they can still score points.”

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