Williams opt for pitlane start for Sargeant to 'experiment with setup'

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Logan Sargeant will start his Chinese GP from the pitlane to give Williams an opportunity to experiment with the setup of his FW46 car.

Sargeant closed out the field in both sprint qualifying and in Saturday’s qualifying as the American struggled with the handling of his car around Shanghai’s 5.45 km layout, ultimately suffering a spin on his final lap in Q1.

This encouraged Williams to pull Sargeant’s FW46 out of parc fermé after yesterday’s final session to implement changes to enable the British outfit “the opportunity to experiment with the setup and learn more about the car ahead of another upcoming Sprint event in Miami”.

More specifically, Williams’ setup changes involve the car’s front wing and nose assembly, a rear wing gurney and tweaks to the suspension.

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After Saturday’s qualifying, Sargeant reckoned that his struggles were rooted in both the car and the track, with the effects leaving him “disconnected” from his mount.

"It's the car with the track, and then, of course, when it's not easy to drive, it makes you more disconnected with the car as well. It works both ways,” he said, quoted by RacingNews365.

"It's been difficult trying to lean on the car. It just isn't happy, and it's been a fight. It's been tough to put a lap together.”

Sargeant admitted that Williams had “tried many things” to improve the handling and performance of his FW46 but “it's not getting any easier”.

"Over the bumps in the high speed, it is so difficult,” he added. “That picked up a lot compared to the previous three runs we'd done, so that was quite a surprise."

On the other side of the Williams garage, Alex Albon will start his race on Sunday from 14th on the grid.

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