Formula 1 team boss worked with Hamilton and Schumacher: ‘Hamilton has the most talent’

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Formula 1 team boss worked with Hamilton and Schumacher: 'Hamilton has the most talent'

James Vowles has been Williams’ team boss since the beginning of 2023, but the 44-year-old Briton previously worked for years for the team from Brackley, which now bears the Mercedes name, but was also Vowles’ workplace during the time of Brawn GP , Honda Racing, and British American Racing (BAR). Vowles worked with several greats from the sport, and indicates that Lewis Hamilton in particular made an impression.

Since 2001, Vowles has been active for the Brackley racing stable, where he had the opportunity to work with world champions such as Jacques Villeneuve, Jenson Button, and Nico Rosberg, as well as the experienced multiple race winner Rubens Barrichello. However, the two biggest names Vowles has worked with are without a doubt Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton, the two seven-time world champions.

Vowles puts Hamilton above Schumacher

Schumacher returned from retirement at Mercedes in 2010, where there were no major successes until 2012, before he finally hung up his helmet and was replaced by then single world champion Lewis Hamilton. “Lewis was and remains the most instinctive and most talented driver I have ever had the pleasure of working with, and that includes Michael,” Vowles was quoted as saying by the Brazilian branch of Motorsport.com.

However, it must be said that Vowles worked with Schumacher at a time when the German no longer seemed to be at the level of his heyday, while Hamilton arrived at Mercedes at the age of 28 and was present for the German manufacturer in the dominant period. Vowles still remembers Hamilton’s arrival in 2013. ‘His mentality was brilliant then. He had the attitude that he was going to win every race at all costs, but if you talk to him now, he has accepted that you can also become world champion with second and third places.’

“By working with the team on the days when you can’t win, you achieve more than if you lose sight of the bigger picture, just to win one extra race,” explains the Briton, who won the Hamilton title during the Hamilton period. was ultimately responsible for the strategy. Hamilton won six world titles with Mercedes and is now the driver with the most victories and pole positions in the history of the sport. The now 39-year-old Brit has a contract until 2025.

Schumacher can count on less praise

Vowles is clearly less positive about Schumacher, who only managed to take a podium place in Valencia, 2012, between 2010 and 2012. ‘We wanted to win at Mercedes by doing things better than the rest. Michael was an incredible man, but he still carried the incident from 1997 with him,” Vowles said of the collision between Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve. The Canadian became world champion that year for Williams, which is still waiting for a new top prize 27 years later, while Schumacher had to hand in all his World Cup points. ‘I wouldn’t want to be remembered that way. I would have wanted people to remember me for my dominance,” Vowles said.

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