James Vowles spills beans on Lewis Hamilton call over Mercedes exit

Lewis Hamilton on difficult season for Mercedes in November

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Ex-Mercedes engineer James Vowles has revealed key details about the four words Lewis Hamilton said in a private call after his Silver Arrows exit. Vowles leaves his role as strategy director at the German marque to become team principal at iconic British squad Williams.

It emerged both team boss Toto Wolff and Vowles called Hamilton ahead of the announcement last week to explain the situation. Wolff claimed Hamilton reacted positively to the change despite it being a major loss for the team just weeks ahead of the new campaign.

Wolff commented: “I think his first response was ‘That’s amazing for James.” Wolff’s revelation was supported by the new Williams boss, who stressed his colleagues were “incredibly happy” about the move.

Opening up on his call with Hamilton, Vowles said: “For what it’s worth, I called him and those were the first words that came out of his mouth.

“Not insulting me or telling me he’s disappointed, it was quite the opposite. In fact, I’d probably say throughout Mercedes I’ve had the fortune that near enough everyone I’ve spoken to has just been incredibly happy.”

Vowles will join Williams in the middle of February, just days before the pre-season test in Bahrain. The 42-year-old has been a staple at the Brackley-based squad, playing a key role in Mercedes’ seven-back-to-back titles between 2014 and 2020.

He was also crucial to Jenson Button and Brawn GP’s shock Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship success in 2009. Hamilton posted a touching tribute to Vowles on social media, stressing he would be a perfect fit for the role.

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He posted: “Together we have won over 80 races and 15 titles. This is such a great move and I couldn’t be happier for him. We all need to change in order to progress and I’m confident that he’ll push Williams forward to being more competitive. There is nobody more deserving of this role.

“Thanks for everything, James. Wishing you the best, brother.” Williams split with team boss Jost Capito and technical director Francois-Xavier Demaison, after the final race in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate George Russell also sent a message to Vowles on his exit. He wrote on Twitter: “James, it’s George. Congratulations on your new role, thoroughly deserved.

“Thank you for everything you’ve done for Mercedes and the support you’ve given me along the journey. See you in Bahrain!”

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