Logan Sargeant and Williams looking to turn the page after ‘difficult’ Australian GP

It was the kind of weekend you just want to forget as a Formula 1 team.

The Australian Grand Prix was a brutal weekend for Williams. A hard crash from Alexander Albon during the first practice session left the team working deep into the night — even breaking curfew — to try and repair the damaged FW46 so Albon could drive in FP3, as well as qualifying. However, the chassis could not be repaired in time, and without a backup available, Team Principal James Vowles was forced to make what he called one of the hardest decisions of his career:

Sidelining Logan Sargeant, and sliding Albon into his teammate’s car.

The strategy almost worked. Albon, driving Sargeant’s car, advanced into Q2 and started the Australian Grand Prix in 12th position, while Sargeant looked on from the garage. That starting position gave Albon and Williams a shot at salvaging something from a tough weekend.

However, that would not be the case as Albon finished in P11, just outside of the points.

Now the team is looking to turn the page in Japan.

“Australia was clearly not how we want to go racing as a team, and it did unfortunately highlight the journey that we’re on,” said Albon in the team’s race preview. “Despite this, the team trackside and back at Grove has really pulled together in an impressive way to repair the car and deliver it to the track on time, which we are all hugely thankful for.”

For Sargeant, Australia was tough for both him, and the team as a whole. The second-year driver is itching to get back behind the wheel, and into action.

“Australia was perhaps the most difficult weekend I’ve ever had to face as a driver and the same goes for the team,” said Sargeant. “I really appreciate the fans for sticking by us with their incredible support at the track and back home. I’m looking to put this challenging moment behind us, learn from it and continue pushing together this season.”

The Williams driver took the chance to use the extra week between Australia and Japan to travel to Bali, where he continued with a training regime that he reworked over the off-season.

“I’ve taken the opportunity between races to head to Bali to stay sharp both mentally and physically, with plenty of time spent in the gym,” added Sargeant. “I’m excited to be heading back to Japan so early in the season. Suzuka is iconic and is one of everyone’s favourite tracks on the calendar. I can’t wait to give it another go.”

Still, at least one aspect of the Australian Grand Prix will follow Williams to Suzuka. While the team was able to repair Albon’s car in time for the Japanese Grand Prix, Williams will again be without a spare chassis this weekend.

Hopefully they do not face another difficult decision.

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