Preparing their spare chassis “to more than an assembly comprising a survival cell”, Logan Sargeant has a 10-second penalty even before the first lap of the Japanese Grand Prix for Williams breaching third car rules.
Sargeant suffered a big crash in Saturday’s Q1 at the Suzuka circuit when a snap of oversteer through the final corner put him onto the grass.
Unable to control the car, he crashed into the barrier causing a significant amount of damage to the left side of his FW45.
Williams forced into making extensive changes to get Logan Sargeant into the race
He’ll now line up in the pit lane on Sunday as Williams have opted to make set-up changes while he also has a new chassis, gearbox, engine, wings, and suspensions.
The changes are extensive, so extensive there was talk of this being a “third car”.
The FIA confirmed this with Technical Delegate Jo Bauer saying: “Last night the Williams Racing team worked on car number 02, chassis 03, two hours after the chequered flag of Q3.
“Chassis 01 got damaged beyond repair during the accident in Q1.
“As chassis O3 was assembled to more than an assembly comprising a survival cell as defined in SR Article 27.2 this has to be considered as a third car available to the competitor.
“As this is not in compliance with SR Article 27.2 and 40.6 as well as TD021 G, I am referring this matter to the stewards for their consideration.”
Teams are not allowed to have spare cars available at grands prix, the rules stating that drivers must run the same car in qualifying and the race.
The stewards came to the conclusion that “Chassis 03 was assembled to a level exceeding that defined in Article 27.2 of the Sporting Regulations, which defines the state of assembly for a Chassis to be consideed to be a car.
“The Williams Racing team was therefore found to be in breach of Article 27.1, which states that each Competitor may not have more than two cars available at any time during a Competition.”
Sargeant will therefore from the pitlane and will also serve a 10-second penalty at his first pit stop.
As for Sargeant, his team boss James Vowles says he is “sore” and “bruised” but will be ready to “give his all” on Sunday.
“In terms of Logan,” Vowles said, “he’s absolutely fine physically and that’s obviously one of my biggest concerns.
“He’s bruised, he’s a little bit sore but he’s absolutely in the right headspace to come back and give his all.”