‘Dream’ outcome for Williams lifts ‘weight off’ under-pressure Logan Sargeant

Henry Valantine
Williams driver Logan Sargeant in qualifying in Las Vegas.

Logan Sargeant was hot on the heels of his Williams team-mate in qualifying in Las Vegas.

Williams team principal James Vowles lauded a “dream” outcome in Las Vegas Grand Prix qualifying for the team, with Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant locking out the third row of the grid come race day.

Albon and Sargeant both sailed through to Q3 and qualified sixth and seventh respectively, but a 10-place penalty for Carlos Sainz will move them up to a third-row lockout come lights out on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

For Sargeant in particular, a strong performance at his third home race of the season is much needed, with his future beyond the end of the year still not secure.

Williams boss hails ‘great achievement’ of third-row lockout

While the likes of McLaren faltered, with both Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri going out in Q1, Williams were right among the top 10 throughout qualifying in Las Vegas.

And when both Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez were knocked out in Q2 down in part to strong laps from Albon and Sargeant, the opportunity of a handy grid slot was there – which both drivers took.

With top speed long having been a strength of the Williams, Vowles was thrilled with what his drivers were able to manage around Las Vegas.

“I think that was a dream actually before the weekend come true,” he told Sky Sports F1 after the session.

“We knew we’d be quick here, there’s some elements of the track that definitely suit our car, one of them is the temperature.

“I’m wearing every layer I have near enough here, but to actually have both cars in the top 10 – nicely in the top 10 – within six tenths of pole, that’s a great achievement.”

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And for Sargeant, even though he was unable to break his duck of out-qualifying Albon on the other side of the garage, he starts one position behind on the third row of the grid.

He predicted the straight-line speed the Williams has will make the car “annoying” for others to try and pass in race trim.

Having had a jubilant reaction to crossing the line to start P6 once Sainz’s penalty is applied, he feels this will go some way to helping his cause in trying to retain his seat for 2024.

“I feel like it’s just so nice to see the hard work coming together,” he said.

“I feel like we’ve had this potential for a while but haven’t really delivered on it, and today we did so in three separate qualifying sessions.

“We have a quick car in the straights, which is good for tomorrow a great day for the team and two great starting positions.

“As you can imagine, every qualifying session as we get closer to the end of the season, there’s just more and more pressure. Definitely a nice bit of weight off my shoulders.”

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