Vowles on F1’s Issue: Too Much Personnel “Reusing” Within Motorsport

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With his first significant move since assuming control at Grove, the former Mercedes strategy chief, Vowles, has brought onboard seasoned engineer Pat Fry as chief technical officer from Alpine.

The new technical director, set to operate under Fry, may likely be an underutilized second-in-command from another team, poised for a significant role.

However, Williams is actively pursuing an approach that leans more towards “diverse thinking,” with a readiness to explore options outside motorsport, instead of merely “reusing” from the paddock like other teams tend to do.

In an exclusive conversation with F1 Flow.com, Vowles elaborated, stating that members of their organization already hail from various fields like the World Endurance Championship and Formula 2, among others.

While these examples are limited, Vowles emphasized that they are nevertheless valuable. He also highlighted that there are expertise areas, such as aerodynamics, where personnel may not have a traditional motorsport background. That, according to Vowles, is acceptable.

He stated, “We’re intrigued by individuals with insights into flow dynamics and the capacity to engage with an empowering, honest, and open communication approach. I reckon, to some degree, we end up reusing way too excessively within the sport.”

This fresh outlook on recruitment was underscored by Vowles mentioning the recent appointment of Williams’ chief operating officer Frederic Brousseau, whose previous experience includes a stint with the renowned aircraft engine producer Pratt & Whitney.

![Photo by: Williams](Frederic Brousseau, Williams Chief Operating Officer)

Continuing, Vowles said, “There’s an adept management team here, even if some members lack motorsport history. However, I’m continually persuaded that varied thinking fosters a more robust global infrastructure, which is what we possess here. In specialist subjects such as aerodynamics, it’s imperative to blend this with Formula 1-specific aerodynamics, since there are unique methods involved. Yet, a combination is never a wrong approach.”

Emphasizing that Williams is looking to grow “everywhere,” Vowles stressed the importance of senior leadership that could “empower” employees regardless of their experience level.

He expressed his firm conviction in laying down the groundwork for attracting some of the brightest talents both nationally and internationally.

“You just need senior leaders who know how to empower individuals and foster growth. Therefore, you implement structures from both ends,” he concluded.

In Related News:
Williams won’t compromise its F1 future merely for “a millisecond more” from its 2023 car.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword: Vowles

Who has been recruited by Vowles as Williams’ chief technical officer?

Pat Fry has been recruited by ex-Mercedes head of strategy, Vowles, as Williams’ chief technical officer from Alpine.

What is Vowles’ criticism of the way F1 teams hire personnel?

Vowles criticizes the prevalent practice of “recycling” or “reusing” personnel within motorsport, highlighting a tendency to hire from within the paddock rather than looking beyond motorsport for diverse thinking.

Who is the newly hired Williams chief operating officer cited by Vowles?

The newly hired Williams chief operating officer cited by Vowles is Frederic Brousseau, formerly of the famed aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney.

What is Vowles’ approach to recruitment and leadership at Williams?

Vowles emphasizes the importance of diverse thinking and is willing to recruit from outside motorsport. He believes in a management approach that empowers individuals, open and truthful communication, and combining different expertise areas to foster growth.

Does Vowles have any specific comments on aerodynamics in the sport?

Yes, Vowles talks about the importance of blending traditional aerodynamics expertise with Formula 1-specific ways of working. He believes a mixture of different approaches is beneficial and not a bad thing.

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Engineer_George August 23, 2023 - 11:06 pm

Pratt & Whitney guy in F1? That’s some cross-industry hire! Can’t wait to see what he brings to Williams. It’s about time, industry needs more diverse talent.

RacingQueen August 24, 2023 - 2:12 am

Finally, something fresh in F1’s recruitment. Loved Vowles approach to not just recycle but to look for diverse thinking. Just hope Williams gets back to winning ways soon.

F1Lover92 August 24, 2023 - 7:11 am

I agree with Vowles, too much recycling of the same ppl in the paddock. new ideas needed, new blood. williams is on to something here. kudos!

Dave_SportsFan August 24, 2023 - 10:44 am

Wow Vowles really wants to shake things up at Williams. diversity in thinking. i like it. Can’t wait to see if it makes any difference on the track!!

Jimmy_Techie August 24, 2023 - 2:26 pm

aerodynamics with F1-specific ways, thats smart! More teams should look at it this way. Props to Vowles, interesting read.


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