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Sargeant gets repaired chassis; Williams without spare until Miami

Logan Sargeant will use the repaired Williams chassis at the Japanese Grand Prix, as the team is not likely to have a spare until Miami next month.

Alex Albon’s crash in FP1 in Melbourne exposed Williams’ lack of a third chassis, with the team opting to give Sargeant’s car to Albon for the rest of the race weekend and withdraw the Floridian. The damaged chassis was repaired back at the factory and is ready for the upcoming race in Japan, but Sargeant says there won’t be a back-up in Suzuka or at the next race in China.

“It’s the repaired one, just because the workload to switch the cars back over would be far too much for the mechanics,” Sargeant said of his designated chassis for this weekend. “But the chassis repair went better than expected, so it should be perfectly normal as far as I’m aware. [The spare] should be ready for Miami.”

The repaired chassis is an estimated 100 grams heavier as a result of the work done on it, but Sargeant said the lack of a third option will not play on his mind this weekend.

“I don’t think we had really… at least, I hadn’t thought about it before that,” he said of the lack of a spare. “When I see Alex crash, the first thing that goes through my head is I know we’re down on spares and it’s going to back us up.

“Of course I was a little bit concerned for where we stood as a team, but it’s one of the hard parts that we’ve had to deal with through the start of the season, not having those big safety nets. I think it’s somewhere that as a team we’re really trying to develop to be better and get more on top of that early in the season.

“It’s a situation we had to deal with through the first three races. We went to Saudi with the same situation and of course it’s one of those things that you know you have to be careful, but at the same time, you can’t be. It’s Formula 1 — if you’re careful, you’re nowhere. So it’s really not even a question. You have to be committed, confident and hope nothing goes wrong!”

Sam Bloxham/Motorsport Images

After dealing with the blow of being unable to race in Melbourne due to Williams team principal James Vowles’ decision to switch the chassis between drivers, Sargeant says he managed to recharge with a spell in Bali and gain perspective of how best to respond.

“I think it’s an absolute necessity a lot of times in the year to be able to find those little gaps to get away from it, be with people who help fill you with energy and keep you going through the season,” he said. “I wouldn’t relate that just to a situation like Melbourne — I think it’s just how you have to break up the season.

“The funny part of that is I probably feel better psychologically. After having a week away, you see things from a different perspective. I’ve had a decent start to the year, it hasn’t shown up in quali yet — I think it would have in Melbourne — so I’m just continuing with that mindset that I’m close to where I need to be. It’s gonna start this weekend.”

Story originally appeared on Racer