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Sargeant describes ‘raw’ moments after Australia car swap as he gets set for return to action in Japan

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Logan Sargeant has opened up on the days that followed the Australian Grand Prix, where he was plucked from his own car to allow team mate Alex Albon to compete amid a chassis shortage at Williams.

Albon’s crash during the first practice session in Melbourne caused damage to his chassis that could not be repaired at the trackside and, with no spare present, Williams made the call to put him in Sargeant’s FW46 for the remainder of the weekend.

READ MORE: Williams provide update on chassis repair ahead of Japanese Grand Prix weekend

Sargeant, attempting to build on his up-and-down rookie season, could do no more than watch from the garage as Albon narrowly missed out on a Q3 spot and points around Melbourne’s streets, while Williams sent the damaged chassis back to their factory for repairs.

After a couple of weeks off, and a trip to Bali for some downtime, Sargeant was asked to reflect on the situation as he arrived in the Suzuka paddock ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix, saying: “For sure, the next day – next couple of days – felt a bit raw.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22: Alex Albon of Thailand and Williams F1 crashes out during FP1

Albon was put in Sargeant’s car after his crash during FP1 at Albert Park

“At the same time, I think we haven’t had the perfect start to the year, but in terms of speed I’m happy with where I’m at and I just need to carry that into this weekend.

“For sure, having a week off – I got to spend it sitting on a beach, but also getting some good training in and seeing things from a different perspective. I’ve come back here feeling actually very fresh, psychologically happy and just ready to get back in the car.”

READ MORE: Vowles insists he still ‘believes’ in Sargeant as he reveals American’s reaction after handing car to Albon

Williams team boss James Vowles described the decision to put Albon in Sargeant’s car as “the hardest I’ve had to make”, stressing that he still “believed” in the American youngster for the season ahead.

Asked if he now questions the team’s confidence and faith in him, Sargeant replied: “No, I don’t think so. I didn’t have the easiest of years in 2023 and they stuck by my side.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: Logan Sargeant of United States and Williams looks on in the

Sargeant watched qualifying and the race from the Williams garage

“I believe I’ve had that support since the end of 2021 and I don’t think it’s gone anywhere. I think it’s just a difficult situation for everyone involved – a difficult situation for even the mechanics who have to shift the cars all the way across.

“It’s tough, but at the same time I feel like I stepped away, I was in my own little bubble, I didn’t really think about racing too much at all and I think that was what I needed.”

READ MORE: Albon admits Williams will have to be ‘sensible’ at upcoming races amid chassis shortage

As for which chassis he will be using this weekend, Sargeant confirmed: “I have the patched up one, but a very well patched up one. The repair went better than expected and should be exactly identical to what I previously had.”

The Williams duo will also have to be mindful on track in avoiding a similar situation to Melbourne with Albon confirming in the press conference ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix that the team will have two chassis for this weekend and also in China.

The Grove squad are one of three teams, along with Kick Sauber and Alpine, yet to score a point so far this season, with the outfit sitting eighth in the constructors’ standings thanks to Albon’s P11 finishes in Saudi Arabia and Australia.

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