F1 News

Petrov critical of Vowles' departure

Petrov to Mercedes: 'I would never have let him go'

23 January at 17:03
Last update 24 January at 07:56
  • GPblog.com

Former Formula One driver Vitaly Petrov thinks Mercedes made a mistake in letting James Vowles leave. Quoted by Speedweek Petrov says he would have handled it completely differently if he was in charge.

One of the final pieces of the puzzle for the 2023 grid fell into place recently when Williams announced that the team had appointed Mercedes chief strategist Vowles as their new team boss. Although that leaves a hole at Mercedes, team boss Toto Wolff immediately announced that he is not worried. Mercedes are said to have been working on the succession of Vowles for quite some time so there is now enough knowledge and experience to take the hit. Immediately appointing a successor to Vowles is therefore unnecessary, according to Wolff.

'I would never have let him go'

Still, Petrov thinks Wolff is downplaying the problems. "It is not possible to work without a chief strategist," the former driver claims. "I'm sure they have to replace him somehow. I can even imagine that different people will have to do this together."

"Everything will now depend on how Mercedes solves the problems with the car and how they have to replace such a man," Petrov continued. "To be honest, I would never have let him go. Of course, I understand that sometimes it is not possible to keep someone in the same job for a long time. Because there are just employees who are looking for a new job, and that is not a question of money either. From Vowles' point of view, I can understand the change."