When will Williams have a spare chassis? Timeline update after Logan Sargeant Japanese GP crash

Oliver Harden
Logan Sargeant steps out of his Williams after his FP1 crash at Suzuka

Logan Sargeant steps out of his Williams after his FP1 crash at Suzuka

James Vowles has confirmed Williams will not have a spare chassis in the F1 paddock until the Miami Grand Prix weekend in early May after Logan Sargeant’s huge crash in FP1 in Japan.

Williams’ constraints at the beginning of the F1 2024 season were brought into sharp focus at last month’s Australian GP, where Alex Albon crashed heavily in the opening practice session.

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With the team lacking a spare chassis, that led to the unprecedented decision by Vowles, who withdrew Sargeant from the rest of the weekend to give his car to Albon, claiming the Thai driver stood a better chance of scoring points at Albert Park.

Albon went on to just miss out on the points in Melbourne, coming home in 11th place.

Sargeant was back on track at Suzuka on Friday, but his return to action was short-lived as he crashed at Dunlop Curve in FP1, with the damage ruling him out of the FP2 session in Japan.

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The American’s car is expected to be repaired to allow him to compete for the remainder of the weekend.

Speaking in the team principals’ press conference at Suzuka, Vowles admitted Williams won’t have a spare chassis on site at the next race in China either, with Miami a more likely target.

He said: “I think the third chassis at the moment won’t be with us until Miami, a long way away.

“In terms of the chassis, if you put all of your resources – everything you possibly had within the organisation on it – you could be eight, 10 weeks that you pretty much get a chassis done, from freezer to something actually built and out there.

“And that’s by the time you get to the third chassis. It takes longer for the first ones as you get used to the process.

“Clearly we don’t have the whole organisation just working on that. We’re working at the same time on spares and updates and trying to get the throughput.

“Everything’s just a huge amount that goes through the organisation at this stage.

“In our particular case, clearly, we don’t and never had the intention of being here without three chassis. The intention was to have three right at the beginning of the year.

“It’s an outcome from just an overload within the system, the complexity of this car and the amount that we were trying to push through. But in terms of the complexity of it, it’s enormous.

“The chassis is thousands and thousands of pieces you’re trying to bring together at the same time.”

Williams are among three teams, along with Alpine and Sauber, yet to score a point in 2024.

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