Logan Sargeant apologises to Nyck de Vries: ‘There was nothing I could do’

Oliver Harden
Logan Sargeant pre-race. Bahrain, March 2023.

Logan Sargeant before a race. Bahrain, March 2023.

Logan Sargeant has issued an apology to Nyck de Vries after the Williams driver speared into his fellow Formula 1 rookie during the controversial Australian Grand Prix restart.

A late red flag at Albert Park set up a two-lap sprint to the finish, but the race was halted for a third and final time as chaos ensued.

While much of the attention was focused elsewhere, namely the collisions between Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso and Alpine team-mates Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon, Sargeant and De Vries were also caught up the action.

With the field returning to the grid for a standing restart, cold tyres and brakes saw Sargeant lock up and rear-end the AlphaTauri of De Vries with both drivers out on the spot.

Sargeant admitted to being surprised to find such little grip at the restart, telling F1 TV: “The last restart was pretty weird.

“I felt like I braked like I did on the previous two restarts but it seemed like nothing was up to temperature, brakes, tyres.

“[I] hit the pedal and it was immediate both fronts locked and there was nothing I could do from there.

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“Sorry to Nyck, I didn’t want to end the day like that.

“It was a tough enough day as it was and it was disappointing to end like that.”

Sargeant and De Vries currently occupy the bottom two positions in the Championship as the only drivers yet to score a point in F1 2023, with the AlphaTauri man accepting of the American’s apology.

“Everyone can make a mistake and a misjudgement and it’s a racing incident,” De Vries said.

“We’ll move on and hope for a better race next time.”

Did Logan Sargeant pay the price for failing to adjust to the conditions?

Sargeant was bemused following his retirement in Australia, insisting he had braked for Turn 1 at the final restart no differently to how he had done so before.

Yet, in that acknowledgement, he may have revealed the cause of his downfall – a failure to adjust accordingly and make allowances for cold tyres and brakes in declining temperatures as the sun started to set over Melbourne.

Rob Wilson, the esteemed driver coach, tells a story of how Adrian Newey once approached him after studying Kimi Raikkonen’s onboards during a race at Indianapolis shocked that, rather than following consistent frames of reference, Kimi’s braking points and racing lines seemed to alter by the lap.

Wasn’t that against everything a racing driver is taught from a young age? Isn’t consistency meant to be key, the foundation of all good driving?

Wilson laughed and explained that the best drivers are always adapting to even the slightest difference in conditions, from a decrease in tyre life from the previous lap to an ever-declining fuel load over a stint.

Those who remain rigid to the same lines, same braking points, same rates of input are racing with their minds closed.