Verstappen reveals his reaction in Logan Sargeant’s place

The Williams racing team is currently embroiled in controversy due to its underwhelming preparation for the 2024 Formula 1 season, which has been a topic of discussion among fans and experts alike. During practice in Melbourne, Alex Albon experienced a severe crash that resulted in significant damage to the car’s chassis. Consequently, the decision was made to have Albon take over Logan Sargeant’s vehicle for the rest of the weekend, a move that has drawn criticism and confusion from many corners of the sport.

Gunther Steiner, the former head of the Haas team, while speaking on Servus TV, supported Williams’ contentious decision, saying, “I would have made the same decision. You just have to look at the statistics – Alex did a very good job for them last year. The team is always the focus.” Steiner, however, expressed astonishment at the lack of a backup chassis for Sargeant, remarking, “But if I was Logan Sargeant, I would be asking why there is no replacement chassis. I find that amazing. I have never heard that there is no replacement chassis at the third race of the season.”

In an effort to explain the predicament, James Vowles, who formerly worked with the championship-winning Mercedes team and now serves as Williams’ team boss, admitted that the team’s transition from outdated methods to the pinnacle of Formula 1 standards has been challenging. He noted, “This year’s car has almost ten times more parts than last year’s.” Despite these efforts, Williams faces the alarming prospect of not having a spare chassis ready for the upcoming race in Suzuka, leaving the team in a scramble to repair Albon’s heavily damaged monocoque.

Vowles remains hopeful, stating, “I’m sure we’ll have two cars in Japan,” but he also cautioned, “but I can’t guarantee this 100 percent. It all depends on the analysis of the damage at the factory, but the probability is very high.” This uncertainty means Sargeant might have to miss another Grand Prix.

The situation has drawn commentary from triple world champion Max Verstappen, who sympathized with Sargeant’s predicament, telling the De Telegraaf newspaper, “That of course sucks for Logan.” Verstappen added, “I understand the team making that decision from the performance aspect, but it’s not nice. I wouldn’t have given up my car in such a case. Certainly not in my position. Then I would have been on the plane by now. And first I would destroy my own car so no one could drive it anymore. Luckily in my position I don’t have to worry about something like that happening to me.”

Albon, for his part, acknowledged the discomfort of competing in a teammate’s car, admitting, “No one wants to race in a teammate’s car, and I don’t either. I’ve never been in a situation like this before and it’s a strange feeling. I just have to try to ignore the whole story as much as possible.”

Despite the challenging circumstances, Sargeant displayed remarkable maturity, according to Vowles, who remarked on the American’s decision to return to the garage to observe Albon qualify and race in his car, noting, “His ethics are incredibly strong in that regard.” Vowles also admitted the difficulty in justifying the decision to Sargeant but remained supportive of the young driver, stating, “I told him the facts. He has improved, he is closer to Alex than before, but he is not quite at the level to be in front of Alex. But I haven’t changed my mind about Logan. I signed him and put all my support behind him because I believe in him.”

GMM

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