Sargeant apologises to De Vries after causing the incident that forced them to retire in Melbourne

Spread the love
Photo Credit: Williams Racing

Last weekend in Melbourne, Australia, we witnessed a very tumultuous race. A lot happened: incidents, red flags, multiple Safety Cars and a lot of DNFs, including a double one for Williams.

Both drivers from the Grove-based team were forced to retire, Sargeant did it after a crash that occurred between him and De Vries in turn 1 on the second restart. The American driver said that there was nothing he could do to avoid the collision with the AlphaTauri driver after he suffered a lock-up.

Although it was clear the 22-year-old was totally at fault and held his hands up for what happened, the stewards never investigated it.

Immediately after the race he apologised to De Vries:

“The last restart was pretty weird. I felt like I braked where I did on the previous two starts, but it just seemed like nothing was up to temperature, the brakes, tyres.

“I hit the pedal and it was immediate, both fronts locked, and there was nothing I could do from there. Sorry to Nyck, I didn’t want to end the day like that – it was a tough enough day as it was.”

The Dutch driver certainly did not have any bad feelings towards Sargeant when he was told the Williams driver had apologised for the contact.

“It can happen. Everyone can make a mistake and a misjudgement, and it’s a racing incident. We’ll move on and hope for a better race next time.”

Sargeant went on to explain how the rest of his day had gone before that. Unlike everyone else – apart from De Vries ironically – Williams tried the medium tyre after the first restart following the crash of his teammate Alex Albon. It didn’t pay off.

“I think when we were on the right tyre, which was the hard tyre, we actually had pretty good pace there. I felt like we were in a good place, the car was in a good spot,” he said.

“But we tried to restart from the first red flag on the mediums. It just wasn’t the tyre to be on – a lot of graining, it fell away really quickly.

“That was really the end of our race, unfortunately, but I felt like once we got on the right tyre [the hard] we were good.”

The race-ending contact with Sargeant wasn’t De Vries’s only impact with another car on Sunday. On the first restart, he came together with Esteban Ocon at turn 3 and damaged his front wing. He had to carry that loss of performance for over 40 laps.

“We did well in the beginning on the hards to kind of hold on, and I saw it coming towards us, because a lot of medium starters went quickly to the hard, when the Safety Car came out.

“With the incident with Ocon, I damaged my front wing, so basically I drove around the whole race with a broken front wing, meaning that I picked up front graining very early, so it was just a mess.”