Sargeant’s erratic F1 season continues as he misses Baku sprint
Williams Formula 1 driver Logan Sargeant will be absent from the first sprint race held under F1’s new format in Baku.
Sargeant crashed his Williams FW45 in the closing stages of the first segment of sprint qualifying – and, though his passage to the second segment was ensured, he obviously took no part, placing 15th.
And Williams has now said that, despite working “flat out”, its staff has realised it will not be able to get the car repaired in time.
Logan’s car will not run in the #F1Sprint this afternoon despite the best efforts of the team.
After receiving the FW45 back following the shootout, we worked flat-out on the car but there is not enough time to complete the repair. Subsequently we have withdrawn Logan from… pic.twitter.com/cy8Q1nerww
— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) April 29, 2023
Sargeant’s withdrawal means the sprint grid is down to 19 cars, one of which will be starting from the pitlane.
The American was due to move up to 14th on the grid because Alpine has broken parc ferme conditions on Esteban Ocon’s car to amend his “suspension set-up”, consigning him to a pitlane start for both Saturday and Sunday.
The Ocon penalty and Sargeant withdrawal means the likes of Zhou Guanyu, Valtteri Bottas, Yuki Tsunoda, Pierre Gasly and Nyck de Vries are all moving up two places on the starting grid for the sprint.
This is because Sargeant’s withdrawal has been communicated in time before the publication of the final grid, meaning cars can be bunched up accordingly.
The Race says
Sargeant’s withdrawal from the sprint race is a bitter blow in the middle of a weekend he has made a genuine and crucial improvement.
There’s an unfortunate irony in how his qualifying crash came after he had hooked up a lap that looked good enough to progress in the sprint shootout. Especially as, until this weekend Sargeant’s qualifying errors had come before he pieced everything together.
This time he did the job – then overstepped the limit, and paid a much higher price. Not participating in SQ2 was one thing but now missing the sprint, even if racing for the points was unlikely, is much more costly.
It’s a shame for Sargeant as his one-lap pace this weekend has been good and he has delivered on the potential he had shown at the first three grands prix. Clearly, he had a lot of pace, he just wasn’t deploying it effectively enough when it counted.
That wasn’t the case in Baku until the crash, which now prevents Sargeant tackling a sprint race for the first time and gaining crucial knowledge before Sunday’s grand prix.
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