Alex Albon Crash Will Keep Logan Sargeant Out of F1 Australian Grand Prix

f1 grand prix of australia practice
Albon Crash Knocks Sargeant Out of Australian GPKym Illman - Getty Images
  • Williams F1 driver Alex Albon crashed in practice during F1 Australian Grand Prix practice on Friday, and the chassis was damaged beyond repair.

  • Williams has only one chassis available for the remainder of the weekend.

  • The team elected to give Albon the car that had been Logan Sargeant had been driving in practice, leaving Sargeant on the sidelines in Melbourne.

American F1 driver Logan Sargeant has been benched from Formula 1’s Australian Grand Prix after Williams entrusted Alex Albon with its one remaining car after a mishap in practice on Friday.

Albon suffered a sizeable crash during the opening practice session at Albert Park on Friday when he lost control of the FW46 through Turn 6. Albon hit the wall on the inside of the circuit before ricocheting into the outside wall, causing substantial damage to the car, and leaving him unable to partake in the second session later in the day.


Williams thoroughly assessed the situation and deemed that the chassis was damaged beyond repair, meaning it will need to be sent back to its factory in the United Kingdom.

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Logan Sargeant drives his Williams car during practice in Melbourne on Friday.PAUL CROCK - Getty Images

Formula 1 teams typically have a spare chassis available at each Grand Prix in the event that one suffers irreparable damage prior to the race. But the late build of Williams’ FW46, and the early nature of the 2024 season, means Williams does not yet have a third chassis available for use.

Williams consequently has only one chassis available for the remainder of the weekend and, despite Albon writing off his chassis in the crash, Williams has elected to give Albon the chassis so far used by Sargeant.

Albon has undoubtedly been Williams’ lead driver since joining in 2022, and last year amassed 27 points to Sargeant’s one, and outqualified the American driver at each event, effectively single-handedly lifting Williams to seventh in the constructors’ championship.

Williams is one of four teams without a point and the early form from 2024 has indicated that those teams—Williams, RB, Sauber, Alpine—are likely to join Haas in the bottom half of the standings. Points will be difficult to come by for those five teams this year, given the advantage held by the top five teams.

Each point gained could have an influential impact in the final standings and consequently the prize money earned by teams. But it is nevertheless a brutal blow for Sargeant, considering it was Albon’s error which prompted the situation. The move also displays a disregard for Sargeant’s capabilities.

“This is the hardest moment I can remember in my career and it's absolutely not easy,” said Sargeant. “I am however completely here for the team and will continue to contribute in any way that I can this weekend to maximize what we can do.”

Williams team principal James Vowles explained the call.

f1 grand prix of australia practice
Alex Albon’s mishap in practice is causing American Andrew Sargeant to miss this weekend’s F1 race in Australia.Qian Jun/MB Media - Getty Images

“It's unacceptable in modern day Formula 1 not to have a spare chassis, but it is a reflection of how behind we were in the winter period and an illustration of why we need to go through significant change in order to get ourselves in a better position for the future,” said Vowles.

“As a result, we have had some very difficult decisions to make this afternoon.

“While Logan should not have to suffer from a mistake that he did not make, every race counts when the midfield is tighter than ever, so we have made the call based on our best potential to score points this weekend. This decision was not made lightly, and we cannot thank Logan enough for his graceful acceptance, demonstrating his dedication to the team; he is a true team player. This will prove a tough weekend for Williams, and this situation is not one that we will put ourselves in again.”

Albon went on to praise Sargeant’s attitude amid the situation.

“I have to be totally honest and say that no driver would want to give up his seat,” said Albon.

“I would never want anything like this to happen. Logan has always been a consummate professional and a team player from day one, and this won't be an easy one for him to take.

“At this point though, I cannot dwell on the situation and my only job now is to maximize our potential this weekend and work with the whole team to make sure we do the best job possible.”