Williams withdraws Logan Sargeant from Australian GP after Alex Albon practice crash


Williams has withdrawn Logan Sargeant from the Australian Grand Prix after Alex Albon’s Formula One practice crash reduced the team to one car.

Albon crashed at Turn 7 in the second half of the opening practice session at Albert Park on Friday after hitting a curb and losing control of his car.

The collision ruled Albon out of second practice as Williams evaluated the extent of the damage, eventually finding that the chassis on the FW45 car was beyond repair.

As the team did not bring a spare chassis to Australia, it had no choice but to withdraw one of its cars for the rest of the grand prix weekend and choose which of its drivers would race it.

They opted to give the car to Albon, meaning Sargeant will take no further part in the grand prix weekend.

A team statement read: “Following Alex Albon’s accident during FP1 at the Australian Grand Prix, Williams Racing confirms that due to the extensive damage sustained, it is forced to withdraw the chassis for the remainder of the Grand Prix. This chassis will be returned to the team’s HQ at Grove for repair.

“Due to the fact that a third chassis is unavailable, the team can confirm it has taken the decision for Alex to compete for the remainder of the weekend in the chassis that Logan Sargeant drove in FP1 and FP2.”

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Albon crashed during the first practice session in Melbourne (Martin Keep/AFP via Getty Images)

Williams team principal James Vowles said it was “unacceptable in modern day Formula One not to have a spare chassis, but it is a reflection of how behind we were in the winter period and an illustration of why we need to go through significant change in order to get ourselves in a better position for the future.“

Vowles said Williams made the call “based on our best potential to score points this weekend” and thanked Sargeant for his “graceful acceptance, demonstrating his dedication to the team.”

“This is the hardest moment I can remember in my career and it’s absolutely not easy,” said Sargeant. “I am however completely here for the team and will continue to contribute in any way that I can this weekend to maximise what we can do.”

The more experienced Albon led Williams through 2023, scoring 27 of its 28 points and out-qualifying the rookie Sargeant for all 22 races. Albon also finished ahead of Sargeant in the opening two races of the 2024 season in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Prior to Williams confirming the switch, Albon said he “(felt) bad for everyone back at the factory and here at the track” as he “did a lot of damage” in the crash.

The move comes as a blow to Sargeant, who entered his second F1 season hopeful of closing the gap to Albon and becoming a more consistent performer. He finished 13th in second practice on Friday in Melbourne.

But now the American will be on the sidelines for the remainder of the Australia race weekend through no fault of his own.

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

Logan Sargeant returns to F1 for 2024

(Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)





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