Logan Sargeant calls for ‘better policing’ in practices to avoid his qualifying pit lane line error
Despite being well outside of the 107% rule in Q1, Logan Sargeant will take his place on the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after being granted permission to race by the stewards.
Sargeant’s second Formula 1 qualifying session didn’t go to plan for the Williams rookie as one mistake followed another, leaving him 38.1s behind the second slowest car of Lando Norris.
39.7s down on pace-setter Max Verstappen, it meant Sargeant was outside the 107 percent rule with Williams required to ask the stewards for permission for him to race. That was granted based on his speed during the weekend’s practice sessions.
As the American put it: “I felt like I pieced the weekend together perfectly, just right until qualifying.”
That went from one mistake to another as Sargeant’s opening gambit was deleted because he crossed the pit entry line at the end of the lap.
His second attempt was over when he spun at the high-speed Turn 22, the driver fortunate not to crash, while his third and final flying lap was a quick one only for the driver to glance the Turn 22 wall and damage the left-rear corner of his FW45.
Sargeant felt had he been called up on crossing the pit entry line during the practice sessions, something he concedes he should not have been doing, the drama could’ve been avoided.
He told F1 TV: “It was in the event notes to not cross the pit entry line, so it’s on me. I feel like we need to do a better job of policing it in free practice to use it as a reference.
“I did exactly that run all weekend and [this time] it gets deleted, so that’s a bit frustrating.
Max Verstappen brushes off ‘annoying’ driveshaft failure in Saudi qualifying
F1 starting grid: What is the provisional grid order for the Saudi Arabian GP?
Winners and losers from 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying
“On the positive side, the car was super quick and I felt really good. Obviously I made a couple of mistakes but that’s just details. I’m disappointed in myself to not put a lap together for the team.
“But it is what it is. Onwards and upwards.”
He’ll line up 20th on the grid at the very back of the field.
Williams head of vehicle performance Dave Robson isn’t being too hard on his driver for his mistakes in qualifying, admitting up until Saturday night it had been a good weekend.
“He’s had a very good weekend, as he did in Bahrain,” he told The Race.
“One small mistake by a few inches not even at the last corner but pit entry and then in the space of few minutes spiralled into a little bit of an unfortunate session.
“It’s very easy for that to happen and it’s experience you need to keep yourself a little bit calmer in that situation and make the following chances work.
“That is what it is to be a rookie, when you’re playing with such fine margins.”