Pundit questions ‘really odd’ call to give Alex Albon Logan Sargeant’s car

Michelle Foster
Alex Albon walking with Logan Sargeant

Alex Albon drove Logan Sargeant's car in the Australian GP

Alex Albon was the one who destroyed his FW46 in Friday’s first practice for the Australian Grand Prix but it’s Logan Sargeant who won’t contest the rest of the weekend.

That’s because Williams made what former Ferrari team manager Peter Windsor called the “really odd” decision to swap out the drivers as the team did not have a spare chassis available.

Logan Sargeant out, Alex Albon in…

Albon crashed heavily in the opening practice hour in Melbourne when he ran over the exit kerb at the fast Turn 6 right-hander, lost control of the car and slammed into the wall before sliding across the track into the wall on the other side.

Damaging all four corners of the car and the chassis, Williams did not have a spare on hand leaving the team to make the uncomfortable call to give Albon his team-mate’s chassis for the remainder of the weekend.

“The really odd thing there, the sad thing there, is because Williams didn’t have a spare chassis, now Alex Albon is going to race the Logan Sargeant car,” Windsor said on his YouTube channel.

“Logan Sargeant, who is paying for that drive, is going to be watching the race from the sidelines. I think that’s a very odd decision.

“I suppose Williams have done it because they think ‘well, Albon is the most likely points-scorer, we’ve got to go for points’. They’ve said that Logan’s been very gracious about it but a really weird decision.

“Bearing in mind Logan also had a spin and managed not to hit anything and yet Alex did in FP1. But there you go, such a such a shame for Logan. ”

PlanetF1.com recommends

Williams say they believe in Logan Sargeant, giving his car to Alex Albon proves they don’t

Seven must-see F1 weekends to tick off your 2024 bucket list

Team boss James Vowles said the call to swap out Sargeant through no fault of his own in favour of Albon was “one of the hardest decisions” he had ever made as Williams team principal.

But explaining why, he said: “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.”

Williams broke curfew overnight at the Albert Park circuit to ready the car for Albon.

Read next: Logan Sargeant responds to brutal Williams decision with US driver forced to sit out