Sargeant assigned repaired FW15 - no spare Williams until Miami

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Williams has assigned its repaired FW46 chassis to Logan Sargeant for this weekend’s Japanese GP, but the British outfit will remain without a spare tub until next month’s race in Miami.

Alex Albon’s heavy crash in the opening practice session in Melbourne exposed a critical gap in Williams’ arsenal: a lack of spare chassis.

With Albon’s tub damaged beyond the team’s ability to repair it on site, Williams opted to withdraw Sargeant from the race weekend and assign the American’s car to Albon.

The Anglo-Thai racer was deemed better placed by Williams to carry the outfit’s hopes of points at Albert Park. Unfortunately, that prospect did not materialize with Albon finishing just outside the top-ten.

Faced with limited options, Williams opted to repair Albon's damaged car back at its base in Grove, but this has delayed once again the production of a spare chassis until Miami.

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For practical and time-constrained reasons, Albon will remain with his Australian GP FW46 for this weekend’s race while Sargeant will run onboard the repaired car.

“It's the repaired one,” confirmed the American. “Just because the workload to switch the cars back over would just be far too much for the mechanics. But the chassis repair went better than expected.”


Williams’ spare chassis conundrum is rooted in the delayed build over the winter of its FW46, a situation that team boss James Vowles admitted was “unacceptable” for an F1 team and linked in large part to the outfit’s outdated infrastructure and production process.

“I don't think we really, at least I, hadn't thought about it before that,” added Sargeant, addressing the risks of going racing without a spare car.

“If I'm honest, when I see Alex crash, the first thing that goes through my head is, ‘I know that we're down on spares’.

“Of course, I was a little bit concerned for where we stood as a team. But it's one of the hard parts that we've had to deal with through the start of this season - not having those big safety nets.

“It's somewhere that as a team, we're really trying to develop to be better and get more on top of that early in the season.”

While Williams will once again enter the race weekend without any backup, Sargeant says this won’t change his approach as a driver.

“It's, again, a situation that we had to deal with through the first three races,” he explained.

“We went to Saudi with the same situation. And of course, it's one of those things that you have to be careful. But at the same time, you can't be. It's Formula 1.

“If you're careful, you're nowhere. So, it's really not even a question - you have to be committed, confident and hope nothing goes wrong.”

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