Alex Albon gives update on chassis repair status after Australia write-off

Thomas Maher
Alex Albon, Williams, 2024 Australian Grand Prix.

Alex Albon heavily damaged his Williams in first practice in Melbourne.

Following the intensive damage picked up on Alex Albon’s chassis in Australia, Williams is set to have two cars available for use in Japan.

Williams was forced down to just a single car for use in Australia, following Alex Albon’s hefty crash in Friday practice that resulted in damage to his original chassis, with the team lacking a spare chassis for use.

Alex Albon’s damaged chassis returns to use

The chassis that Albon was driving in his crash was returned promptly to the UK to be repaired at Williams’ factory in Grove, before being flown back to Japan in time for this weekend’s race at Suzuka.

The crash cost Logan Sargeant the chance to drive in the weekend, with Williams team boss James Vowles making the difficult call to instruct Sargeant to get out of his intact car and hand it over to Albon for the remainder of the weekend – Albon being the higher-performing driver in the Williams partnership.

The decision wasn’t rewarded with points, with Albon unable to crack the top 10, but both he and Sargeant will be back to full strength this weekend in Japan.

“Australia was clearly not how we want to go racing as a team, and it did unfortunately highlight the journey that we’re on,” Albon said ahead of the weekend.

“Despite this, the team trackside and back at Grove has really pulled together in an impressive way to repair the car and deliver it to the track on time, which we are all hugely thankful for.”

With the damaged chassis returning to use, it begs the question of which driver will be given the repaired chassis versus the undamaged one – although team boss James Vowles denies that the damage was extensive enough for this to be an issue for either driver.

“The chassis is not cracked,” he said in Australia.

“It’s the suspension insert that’s not in the right place. I’d be shocked if a driver can feel the difference between the two.

“I haven’t decided how to allocate the chassis yet, I want to see what the repair is and how well it goes. But there won’t be any performance in it, I’m fairly sure of that based on what I’ve seen.”

Alex Albon’s mindset won’t change despite lack of spare chassis

Williams will remain without a spare chassis for the Japanese GP weekend, with the team expected to be able to introduce its third chassis at the next round, the Chinese Grand Prix.

Despite the fact that, in theory, the exact same situation could play out if one of the drivers damages their chassis this weekend, Albon explained that the threat of the lack of a spare will not change his mindset towards the weekend.

“We’ve been driving like this since race one, so it hasn’t changed our mindset,” he said.

“We just give it everything, especially when the midfield is the way it is – you can’t leave it on the table.

“It’s not how we want to go racing, but we are in this position. We’ve got to scrap, got to fight, and we’ve obviously got a lot of work and effort and reliance on the factory. It’s been tough, we were in a pickle and have been in one since we started testing and it caught us up.

“By China, hopefully it’ll all calm down.”

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