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F1 team boss addresses ruthless driver snub at Australian GP

F1 team boss addresses ruthless driver snub at Australian GP

F1 team boss addresses ruthless driver snub at Australian GP

F1 team boss addresses ruthless driver snub at Australian GP

Williams team principal James Vowles has addressed the reason that driver Logan Sargeant will not race in the Australian Grand Prix.

During FP1 on Friday in Melbourne, team-mate Alex Albon suffered a heavy crash at turn six, causing extensive damage to his car.

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Albon’s chassis was ‘damaged beyond repair’ in the accident, and after a difficult winter period for development, the team found themselves with no spare chassis for the event in Melbourne.

As a result, Vowles made the decision to pull Sargeant from the race and give the American driver’s chassis to Albon to compete for the Grove-based squad over the weekend, and speaking on Williams’ official X account, the team boss assessed what was a incredibly challenging day for the team.

Alex Albon crashed heavily in FP1 in Australia
Williams do not have a spare chassis for the event

Vowles addresses brutal Sargeant snub

“We had high hopes coming into this event,” he said.

“This year, we know that we have a well-balanced package and a good foundation to work from. And indeed in the first few laps of FP1, everything looked to be in a very positive situation with the cars able to be around the top ten region.

“As we fitted the soft tyres to Alex on his fast lap, he hit the curb at turn six. As he landed, it landed poorly and it speared him off into the wall. The damage was extensive.

“The gearbox is split in two, the power unit has significant damage to it and the chassis was damaged beyond repair at the track on the front right corner.

“The main thing for me is that Alex is ok after the incident, it was a huge accident and always in those circumstances, driver’s health comes first and he’s ok.

“However, and this is the downside to things, we don’t have a spare chassis here in Melbourne with us. As a result of the work that took place across the winter, we stressed the organisation to the absolute limit. We pushed everything as far as we could do and what it meant as a result that, is off the back end of being very late on some of the production, the spare chassis started to move backwards.”

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Logan Sargeant has been pulled from the race

Vowles: It's one of the hardest decisions I've had to make

“No team plans to come to an event without a spare chassis,” he continued. “In doing so you create risk. In the absolute best case, it’s uncomfortable. And in the worst case, one of the cars is not racing and that’s the situation we face today.

“We have to ensure that we never, ever put ourselves in that situation again going forward in the future. We are here to go racing and to only have one car here on Saturday and Sunday, simply isn’t what we’re built to do.

“I’ve made the decision for Logan not to be racing this weekend and for Alex to take the chassis and continue on behalf on Williams Racing on Saturday and Sunday. It’s one of the hardest decisions I’ve made so far whilst here in this organisation.

“The midfield is so incredibly tight that a point or two or more may make the difference at the end of the season between being tenth or being sixth. The spread of our cars at the moment is milliseconds, and as much as it pains me to see a driver that through no fault of their own, won’t be racing on Sunday, I have to prioritise the team above all else.

“Logan has been tremendous. He’s here to support the team in this regard, he’s clearly very much hurting as a result of this decision, but equally strong in as much as knows, the team above all else is the priority.

“What I can say is this; the chassis will be back in the UK as quick as we can possibly make it and will be repaired such that we’re able to race again in Japan with two cars.”

READ MORE: Verstappen makes DEFINITIVE announcement on Red Bull future


Mercedes Australian Grand Prix Williams Alex Albon Logan Sargeant James Vowles
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