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

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Williams FW46

Williams will be competing with two cars over the Japanese Grand Prix weekend after an impressive repair job on the chassis that was damaged in Australia.

The team were forced to withdraw Logan Sargeant from last weekend’s event in Melbourne after Alex Albon’s heavy crash during FP1 wrote off his chassis. With no spare available to the squad they made the difficult decision to put Albon in the American’s car for the remainder of the weekend.

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

That choice was described by team boss James Vowles as the hardest decision he’d had to make, while he also branded the situation as “unacceptable in modern day F1”.

After just missing out on points in Australia – Albon came home in P11 in the race – full focus is now on Japan for Williams with Albon praising the work that the team have put in to repair the damaged chassis.

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

Albon's FP1 crash in Melbourne wrote off his chassis

“I am really looking forward to Suzuka, one of my favourite tracks, and of course the amazing Japanese fans,” Albon said. “Australia was clearly not how we want to go racing as a team, and it did unfortunately highlight the journey that we’re on.

“Despite this, the team trackside and back at Grove has really pulled together in an impressive way to repair the car and deliver it to the track on time, which we are all hugely thankful for.”

PALMER: Why Williams never should have handed Sargeant’s car to Albon in Melbourne

For Sargeant, Japan also represents a chance to bounce back after what was an extremely challenging weekend in Melbourne, as Vowles insisted he still had belief in the racer.

“Australia was perhaps the most difficult weekend I’ve ever had to face as a driver and the same goes for the team,” said Sargeant. “I really appreciate the fans for sticking by us with their incredible support at the track and back home.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 21: Logan Sargeant of United States and Williams looks on in the

Sargeant will hope to bounce back in Japan after a challenging time on the sidelines in Australia

“I’m looking to put this challenging moment behind us, learn from it and continue pushing together this season. I’ve taken the opportunity between races to head to Bali to stay sharp both mentally and physically, with plenty of time spent in the gym.

“I’m excited to be heading back to Japan so early in the season. Suzuka is iconic and is one of everyone’s favourite tracks on the calendar. I can’t wait to give it another go.”

Williams are one of three teams, along with Kick Sauber and Alpine, who are yet to score a point across the opening three rounds of the 2024 season, with Albon’s P11 finishes in Saudi Arabia and Australia putting them eighth in the constructors’ standings.

EXPLAINED: Why Williams had to bench Sargeant in Australia – and the big impact it has on the rest of their 2024

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