‘Public vote of no confidence’ – Logan Sargeant Australian GP axe ‘nothing to do with deserve’

Jamie Woodhouse
Williams driver Logan Sargeant looks surprised in the garage.

Williams driver Logan Sargeant.

Logan Sargeant has “a lot to bounce back” from, says Sky F1’s Craig Slater, after being brutally axed from Williams’ Australian GP line-up thanks to Alex Albon’s crash.

Albon brought out the red flags after a shunt during FP1 at Albert Park, an incident which Albon fortunately escaped from unharmed, though it put his FW46 chassis out of action for the remainder of the race weekend. This is where things got painful for Sargeant.

Can Logan Sargeant bounce back from Williams ‘vote of no confidence’?

Williams did not bring a spare chassis with them to the Australian Grand Prix, leading team boss James Vowles to take the brutal decision of giving Albon Sargeant’s Williams so that he could continue in the race weekend, leaving Sargeant on the sidelines.

Slater can see why Vowles made that call, considering Albon has done the vast majority of the points scoring in this Williams driver pairing, though arguing that Williams have given Sargeant a “vote of no confidence” in the “public” spotlight, he said it remains to be seen how Sargeant responds moving forward.

“It’s brutal, it’s ruthless, it’s a public vote of no confidence for Logan Sargeant, who is a really nice young guy, 23 years of age, second year in Formula 1,” said Slater.

“Does he deserve it? No. He didn’t wreck his car. Alex Albon wrecked his and gets given Sergeant’s car.

“But deserve has nothing to do with it. This is James Vowles, the Williams team principal, thinking, ‘What do I need to do to give the team a chance of winning some points? Well, I’ll put the guy in the car who’s claimed 27 points compared to Sargeant’s one point last season, who has been consistently better than Logan Sargeant, that’s what I’ve got to do in terms of what’s best for the team’.

“And remember, it’s not just about two guys, it’s about 800, 900 people at the factory. So a major psychological test in his young career, a lot to bounce back from.”

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Vowles admitted that this Sargeant call was “one of the hardest decisions” of his Williams career so far, but as Slater alluded to, made it with performance in mind.

“I’ve made the decision for Logan not to be racing this weekend and for Alex to take the chassis and continue on behalf of Williams Racing on Saturday and Sunday. It’s one of the hardest decisions I’ve made so far whilst here in this organisation,” said Vowles.

“The midfield is so incredibly tight that a point or two or more may make the difference at the end of the season between being tenth or being sixth. The spread of our cars at the moment is milliseconds. And as much as it pains me to see a driver that – through no fault of their own – won’t be racing on Sunday, I have to prioritise the team above all else.

“Logan has been tremendous. He’s here to support the team in this regard. He’s clearly very much hurting as a result of this decision, but equally strong in as much as he knows the team above all else is the priority.

“What I can say is this, the chassis will be back in the UK as quick as we can possibly make it and will be repaired such that we’re able to race again in Japan with two cars.”

Albon will now head into the Australian Grand Prix solo chasing a first point for Williams in F1 2024.

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