Alex Albon admits Williams atmosphere ‘not pleasant’ amid fallout of Logan Sargeant swap

Henry Valantine
Alex Albon meets fans in Australia.

Alex Albon has been given his team-mate's car after crashing in Australian Grand Prix practice.

Alex Albon acknowledged a “not pleasant” atmosphere in the Williams garage, after team-mate Logan Sargeant made way for the weekend with the one remaining chassis at the team.

Albon’s crash in practice caused irreparable damage to his chassis and, without a spare, Williams team principal James Vowles made the much-discussed decision to run Albon in the one remaining car instead of Sargeant, who will remain on the sidelines for the remainder of the weekend.

Alex Albon acknowledges ‘different feeling’ to normal race weekends in Australia

With necessary setup adjustments made from Sargeant’s car to Albon’s liking in time for FP3, the Thai-British driver, who celebrates his 28th birthday on Saturday, qualified the Williams 12th on the grid for the Australian Grand Prix.

While opinion was split on Vowles’ decision, with the team principal explaining his rationale of Albon offering the team the best chance of points this weekend, while others believed it was harsh on Sargeant considering the crash was not his mistake, Albon himself is motivated by wanting to do the best job possible for the team and his team-mate, given the uniqueness of the situation.

Sargeant said in the team’s announcement that it was the “hardest moment I can remember in my career”, and Albon himself admitted the situation is “not pleasant” at Williams – and something they want to avoid again at all costs in future.

“A different feeling if I’m honest, I haven’t had this feeling,” he told Sky F1 after qualifying.

“I’ve obviously crashed before in free practices and whatnot, but in a position like that, where you’re obviously taking over from your teammate, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone – at least not to Logan.

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“He’s been an absolute gentleman in the whole situation, and he’s a real team player.

“So on my side, it was just trying to do the job at hand because, at the end, you can’t really think about it too much.

“You know, you go and do your job and then that’s the best payback I could give to the team, and to him, was to try and do a good job today and tomorrow.

“So, obviously the atmosphere and the environment that we’re in is not pleasant. We don’t want it to happen again.

“Obviously, we’re still waiting on that spare chassis. Hopefully the tracks that are coming up aren’t as difficult or let’s say punishing.”

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