Albon and Sargeant credit Williams in preparing both cars ahead of F1’s return to Shanghai

Alex Labon & Logan Sargeant in the pitlane at the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix - Image Credit: Williams Racing
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Speaking ahead of this weekend’s triumphant return to Shanghai for the Chinese Grand Prix, Williams’ drivers Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant express their gratitude to the engineers for preparing both cars following a number of incidents.

Following Alex Albon’s crash in Melbourne as well as teammate Logan Sargeant’s crash in FP1 ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix last time out, Williams have struggled with a lack of spare parts to prepare their cars. 

Speaking on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, both drivers paid homage to the team for their tremendous effort in preparing both cars. Alex Albon admits the team have been on the back foot in terms of parts availability following their difficult start to the 2024 season.

“It is, it’s been a tremendous effort,” Albon said of the team “I think obviously we’ve been on the back foot with the crashes and it’s no secret with that. We were already on the back foot before the crashes, so it’s another mighty job. 

“As always, we have to rely on the staff back at Grove to pull things together and they continuously do so. Yeah, very important, especially coming into a sprint race as well with all the possibilities and whatever can happen this weekend. You want to be as best prepared as possible because races like this, where it’s so unknown, is an opportunity for teams like us.”

Echoing his teammates sentiment, Sargeant commented on the “huge team effort” to have not only the cars but also spare parts ready for the weekend.

“Yeah, I think for sure it’s an extreme situation, what the team’s gone through,” echoed Sargeant. “And not one that we want to put the team in either. But I think I’ve done a great job to have two cars here, and spares ready to go. I think it’s been a huge team effort to be here in the position we are.”

Speaking on the team’s situation, Albon commented that, as a driver, you can’t focus on the lack of parts. He says his approach is still to attack the weekend as with any other in order to maximise the team’s potential on track.

“You go about your racing not really thinking about it, if I’m totally honest,” he said. “Obviously, it’s there, but the moment that you start to think about the lack of parts or the lack of whatever, you might as well stay home.

“You’ve got to attack the weekend like you do any other weekend, you can’t treat it any differently. You’ve got to be on the limit to feel what the limit is and you’ve got to get a balance for the cars. It’s one of those ones where you do have to part block your brain and just go about racing as normal. You have to still treat the weekends the same.”

Once again agreeing with his teammate, Sargeant said that while in the car you do not think about the parts situation, instead focusing on the racing. Unlike his teammate, however, he says calculating the risks is an important aspect when the team is struggling with parts.

He continued to admit he could have better adapted to the risk ahead of his FP1 crash in Japan last time out.

“I think once you’re in the car, and helmet’s on, and you’re ready to go, you don’t think about those things. You drive your best, and you try to perform. So that’s really the thought process of a driver.

“I think sometimes you have to try and calculate the risk a little bit, considering the situation. I think it’s something that I could have done better in FP1, in Japan. But other than that, I think you just have to keep looking forward, and keep staying committed to the plan.”