Williams has announced Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles as its new Formula 1 team principal ahead of the 2023 season.

Following the departure of former team boss and CEO Jost Capito in December, Williams has been searching for his successor, saying it expected to reveal a replacement in due course.

Capito left his role after a two-year stint at the team, with technical director FX Demaison joining him out of the exit door after Williams finished bottom of the constructors’ championship last year.

In a statement issued on Friday, Williams revealed Vowles would be joining as its new team principal on February 20 before the opening races of the season in Bahrain.

“I cannot wait to start with Williams Racing,” said Vowles. “It’s an honour to join a team with such an incredibly rich heritage. The team is an icon of our sport, one I greatly respect, and I am very much looking forward to the challenge.

“Williams Racing have placed their faith and trust in me, and I will do the same in return. The team has tremendous potential, and our journey together starts in a matter of weeks.”

Vowles joins Williams after more than two decades in F1, beginning his career at BAR at the start of the 2000s before stints at Honda, Brawn and Mercedes when the German manufacturer returned to the series in 2010.

He has held various engineering and strategy roles during his time at Brackley, including being appointed as the team’s chief strategist in 2018.

Vowles was an instrumental part of Mercedes’ dominance during the V6 hybrid era, winning eight consecutive constructors’ titles, seven drivers’ championships with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, and overseeing 126 race victories.

“We are delighted to welcome James to Williams Racing,” said Dorilton Capital Chairman Matthew Savage. “He is one of the most highly respected talents in Formula 1 and will bring performance.

“He has been a key part of some of the most impressive feats in the sport over the past 15 years.

“As we continue our relentless pursuit for results, we believe that the appointment of James reinforces our dedication to ensuring we have energetic, experienced, and strong leadership as we move into the next phase of transforming Williams Racing.”

Williams recently confirmed it would unveil the livery of its 2023 F1 car at a season launch event on February 6 before the FW45 rolls out on track for the first time in pre-season testing on February 23.