Woes continue for under-fire driver as crash in qualifying brings out red flags

Thomas Maher
Williams' Logan Sargeant crashes out of qualifying at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Logan Sargeant has brought out the red flags in the first part of qualifying, crashing at the final corner halfway through the session.

The American driver, who is fighting for his F1 future as he remains unconfirmed for a Williams seat in 2024, crashed out of qualifying with nine minutes gone in Q1.

Replicating Timo Glock’s qualifying crash from 2009, Sargeant ran wide onto the grass exiting the chicane and couldn’t get the car back under control before hitting the wall and knocking the left-hand side of his car off.

Logan Sargeant continues tough patch of form

Having crashed out of qualifying at the Dutch Grand Prix last month as he also lost control of his car in Q3, Sargeant’s error triggered a reaction from his mechanics who appeared visibly upset by the prospect of having to rebuild the car ahead of Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Clambering free of his stricken Williams, Sargeant ran across the track and back to the pitlane as the marshals began the task of cleaning up the debris and removing the car onto a truck.

After a 15-minute delay, the Q1 session resumed to continue the final nine minutes. Sargeant is now guaranteed to start from either last or possibly a pitlane start should Williams be required to break parc fermé conditions through the rebuild – a likely scenario.

Sargeant’s mistake couldn’t have come at a worse time for his future, with Williams’ boss James Vowles unable to hide his frustration as he spoke to Sky F1 in the aftermath of the crash.

“[Heartbreaking for the guys in the garage], and for Logan there,” James Vowles said.

He was overlaid to the millisecond on top of Alex [Albon], just coming out last corner he had wheel slip which brought him over 30 to 40 kilometres an hour onto the grass, and that’s game over.

“The disappointment element of things is it’s a lot of work overnight but, more importantly, Logan built up to this weekend and had started to have some good pace. We just can’t get it all together.”

Read more: F1 live: Latest updates and timings from the Japanese Grand Prix