Jost Capito has praised new Williams team principal James Vowles and said he has given his congratulations, after taking over his role at the team.
Capito confirmed that “exhaustion” played a part in his decision to take a sudden step away from Williams and Formula 1 at the end of 2022, with former Mercedes strategy director Vowles being approached to take on the role he vacated.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff did not stand in his way, allowing Vowles to head to Grove and take on his first team principal role in Formula 1 with Williams.
But for Capito, he feels Vowles is a fine choice to pick up where he left off with the team, with the challenge ahead of pulling themselves off the bottom of the Constructors’ Championship in 2023.
“Yes, I’ve already worked closely with James, also with Mercedes and their drivers,” Capito told Auto Bild in Germany.
“He’s incredibly competent, I like him a lot and he’s also a great person. I congratulated him accordingly, of course.”
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Vowles and Mercedes will retain a link through the year and beyond as Williams remain customers of their power unit department, but Capito does not see the move as a way of bringing the teams closer together on a technological perspective, but a simple swap from team to team.
“I don’t think that’s the case, I’d classify it more as a pure change of personnel,” he confirmed.
“But we always work closely together anyway, especially on issues like engines and transmissions. So I think everything will just stay as it is.”
Williams will be the next team to unveil their 2023 colours, with the FW45 set to be shown to the world on Monday 6 February from 2pm GMT.
Alex Albon will be joined by a rookie team-mate in the garage in Logan Sargeant, with the Formula 2 graduate set to become the first American driver to take part in Formula 1 since Alexander Rossi in 2015.