Walking away from Mercedes to risk everything for Williams, with F1 Boss James Vowles (E237)

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This episode offers a rare glimpse into the mind of a Formula 1 leader on building culture, pushing boundaries and cultivating discipline.

James Vowles is the Team Principal of Williams Racing, joining the team in January 2022 after leaving his position as Motorsport Strategy Director at Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team. James’ motorsport career has spanned over two decades and began with him writing letters to F1 teams whilst at university, offering his skills for free.

In this episode, James explores the core elements that distinguish a championship-winning team, with people and culture being paramount. He delves into the challenges faced during his career, including dealing with significant job losses, and why it’s crucial for him to earn his place within the team.

Offering a unique perspective into the F1 world, James details his experience managing the egos and expectations of generational talents including Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher. James also reveals his reason for leaving Mercedes at the top of their game to join Williams as Team Principal, sharing the difficulties of that transition and how he overcame them.

Achieving such consistent success demanded sacrifices; James reflects on how this has strained his relationships throughout his career, and whether he would make the same sacrifices if given the chance to do it all over again.

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