Alex Albon replaces Logan Sargeant in shock Williams decision after Australian GP crash

Albon crashed his car in practice and Williams – with no spare chassis on site – were unable to fix his car

Kieran Jackson
Formula 1 Correspondent
Friday 22 March 2024 13:22 GMT
(Getty Images)

Alex Albon will be Williams’ sole driver at the Australian Grand Prix this weekend instead of Logan Sargeant despite the British-Thai’s crash on Friday.

Albon put his car into the wall during the first practice session at Albert Park and his car was rendered irreparable late on Friday, with no spare chassis on site.

As a result, Williams team principal James Vowles has taken the decision for Albon to replace Sargeant in the other car for the rest of the weekend. Albon scored 27 of Williams’ 28 points last year, which explains the main rationale behind the call.

American driver Sargeant, however, described it as the “hardest moment of his career” after being axed for the weekend in Melbourne.

Albon said: "I have to be totally honest and say that no driver would want to give up his seat I would never want anything like this to happen.

“Logan has always been a consummate professional and a team player from day one and this won’t be an easy one for him to take.

“At this point though, I cannot dwell on the situation and my only job now is to maximise our potential this weekend and work with the whole team to make sure we do the best job possible."

Vowles admitted it was “unacceptable in modern day Formula 1” for a team not to have a spare chassis on-site, explaining that the team’s stalled progress over the winter explains why they do not have a spare ‘tub’ at Albert Park.

Vowles said: “We are hugely disappointed that the damage sustained to the chassis has meant we need to withdraw it from the weekend.

“It’s unacceptable in modern day Formula 1 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. As a result, we have had some very difficult decisions to make this afternoon.

“While Logan should not have to suffer from a mistake that he did not make, every race counts when the midfield is tighter than ever, so we have made the call based on our best potential to score points this weekend.

“This decision was not made lightly, and we cannot thank Logan enough for his graceful acceptance, demonstrating his dedication to the team; he is a true team player. This will prove a tough weekend for Williams, and this situation is not one that we will put ourselves in again."

Sargeant will have to watch from the sidelines as his team-mate takes to the track for qualifying on Saturday.

A short comment from the American in a team press release said: "This is the hardest moment I can remember in my career and it’s absolutely not easy.

“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."

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