Logan Sargeant experienced a forgettable weekend in Suzuka, marked by errors and incidents that could seriously jeopardise his future in the category.
Williams are one of the teams with the greatest difference between its drivers this season, with Alex Albon carrying the team's weight and accumulating 21 points, while Logan Sargeant is struggling in his first season in Formula 1.
The Japanese Grand Prix has been particularly tough for the American driver, with many errors compromising his weekend, and many are placing him outside the grid for the next season.
Heavy crash in Q1 causes a red flag
The American caught everyone's attention in Q1 with a hard crash into the barriers when he lost control of his Williams.
The rookie Williams driver was attempting to set a time on his lap to advance in the qualifying.
However, as he exited the last corner of the track, Sargeant lost control of his car and skidded off the track, entering the grass and dirt trap before ultimately colliding sideways with the wall, bringing an end to the session and meaning he would start from the back on Sunday.
The look of disappointment and despair on the faces of some of his mechanics was a poem, before what was to be a long night repairing the car.
If starting from the back seemed like the worst, things took a turn for the worse when the American was penalised and had to start from the pit lane.
The reason for this was that the team changed the chassis in the closed park, which also resulted in a 10-second penalty during the race. This seriously hampered his race, leaving little hope of achieving a good result in Suzuka.
Crash with Bottas on lap 5
After the chaos of the first lap and the withdrawal of the safety car, Valterri Bottas, in the last position, attempted to overtake Sargeant on the outside at the turn 11 hairpin.
The American, on the inside, overshot the corner, locking up his tyres and colliding with the Finn, who spun and went off into the gravel, losing a significant amount of time. The Williams driver, with damage to the front wing, headed to the pits after the incident, once again becoming the centre of attention.
Early retirement from the race
The American's weekend came to an end on lap 26 when he was called in from the garage to stop the car and put an end to the nightmare. To make matters worse, his team-mate Alex Albon was also called in shortly after, making it one of the team's worst weekends of the season, from which they couldn't gain much.
His future, more uncertain than ever
Sargeant's weekend nightmare has once again placed him in the spotlight, much like in 2022 with Nicholas Latifi, where it's become more common to talk about his incidents during races than his successful weekends.
The second seat at Williams is the only one on the grid that remains unconfirmed for 2024, and the American driver will need to secure some good results before a decision is made if he wants to stay on the grid for the coming year.
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