Jenson Button reveals simple James Vowles tool: ‘You don’t see any other bosses doing that’

Henry Valantine
James Vowles, Williams team principal. Bahrain March 2023.

Williams team principal James Vowles stands on the grid ahead of the race. Bahrain March 2023.

Jenson Button has revealed a management tool used by James Vowles at Williams which he feels is not used by any other team principal in Formula 1: post-race talks with a wider forum.

Post-race debriefs take place with a portion of each team in the paddock, while the garages are packed down and the teams prepare to move on to the next venue or bring their parts back to base.

But 2009 World Champion Button, who now combines punditry duties with a brand ambassador role with Williams, has seen up close how Vowles goes about his work, having worked with him for a long time during his driving career.

The former strategy director for Mercedes has taken on his first ever team principal role by making the move to Williams in time for the start of this season, and he has opted to take an open approach to how the team are performing, posting post-race debrief videos on the team’s social media channels dubbed the ‘Vowles Verdict’ to explain what happened during race weekends.

But in discussing the race with his whole team as well, the former Williams driver Button explained how much benefit that can bring to those around Vowles.

“I’ve known James for many years,” Button said on Williams’ official website.

“When I won the Championship back in 2009 – which was a long time ago – he was our strategist. I actually started working with James in 2003, at BAR Honda which turned into Honda, then Brawn, and now Mercedes.

“So, he was there for a very long time gaining a lot of experience, not just in strategy but engineering too, also working underneath Toto Wolff. recommends

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“I’m really happy James joined Williams Racing. He’s a great guy, he’s a hard worker and he has self-confidence, which is something you really need in his role in a team.

“He’s been around and seen the good, the bad and the ugly. He knows how to win races and to be part of such a great team like Mercedes, he understands the structure that we need here at Williams Racing so he’s a great addition.

“I also love his post-race chats, where he talks about how the weekend went – you don’t see any other team principals doing that.

“I think it’s a really useful thing for the whole team to hear his input but also for the fans of the sport and the fans of Williams Racing to really understand what happened.

“Especially as sometimes it’s difficult for the commentators to explain exactly what happened to that one team over a race weekend.”