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Formula 1 Saudi Arabian GP

Williams: Sargeant has to be “calmer” after Jeddah F1 qualifying nightmare

Williams Formula 1 head of vehicle performance Dave Robson says Logan Sargeant needs to be “a little bit calmer” after the American experienced a nightmare qualifying session in Jeddah.

Logan Sargeant, Williams FW45

Sargeant will start the Saudi Arabian GP from 20th and last place after he failed to log a lap time in Q1 following a series of mishaps.

The American had a strong first run, but his time was deleted because he’d put his left front wheel over the white line as he passed the pit entry.

On his second run, he had a spectacular spin at the high-speed Turn 22, from which he was fortunate to escape without damage after stopping short of the wall.

He then made another mistake at Turn 1 at the start of his final lap, and having touched the wall with his left rear, he parked a few corners later.

Sargeant failed to set a representative time, and had to rely on the discretion of the stewards in order to be allowed to start Sunday’s race.

"One small mistake by a few inches, then in a space of a few minutes, it spiralled into a little bit of an unfortunate session,” said Robson.

“I think that's how it goes. It's very easy for that to happen. It's experience, you need to keep yourself a little bit calmer in that situation and make the following chances work for you.

"I think that is what it is to be a rookie when he's playing with such fine margins."

Logan Sargeant, Williams Racing

Logan Sargeant, Williams Racing

Photo by: Williams

Sargeant admitted to some frustration after his initial time was deleted.

“I guess I just put my front left on the painted line at pit entry,” he said when asked by Autosport about the incident.

“It's frustrating because there's been no policing of track limits all weekend, and then we have no reference coming into qualifying and I do what I've done all weekend and it gets deleted.

“But it's still my fault. I had two more laps to deliver a time, I didn't so obviously I'm disappointed in myself for that.

"The team gave me a great car, we had a lot of speed to be honest. And yeah, it is disappointing to have not put a good lap in for them and move forward in quali.”

However, he denied that the deleted time put extra pressure on him for the lap when he spun.

“Not the second lap,” he said. “I was on another great lap. I was up on myself and probably just was asking for a little bit too much in Turn 22. And once I spun there, I lost the feeling on the brake pedal.

“So I obviously slammed the brakes there and then I don't know if that affected me on the next lap, but it's just it's frustrating. And I feel bad for the team because we deserved a lot more today.”

Asked if he was overdriving as the need for a clean lap became more urgent he said: “Yeah, it definitely changes. Maybe something I need to do better, it sort of changes the emotion. Just a bit frustrating.

“It's like I've just done a great lap, you take it away, and now I have to go and do it again and take it away for nothing.

“It's maybe something I can get better at. Something to look at for sure. But like I said, I didn't feel the pressure for the second lap. I was on another great lap and just made a small error.”

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Meanwhile Sargeant’s Williams team-mate Alex Albon qualified 17th and admitted that the FW45 was tricky to drive in qualifying, as Sargeant had discovered.

He was also the first driver to come across the spinning Sargeant at Turn 22.

“It wasn't an issue,” said Albon. “I mean, I already bailed on my lap because I already had a snap like him but earlier in the lap. I think a little wind picked up on the run. It's a lot of question marks.

“We've been quick every time we're going out, apart from qualifying. So we've been OK, the car's been feeling really good. In Bahrain the car came to us with the dark, low track temperatures and all that kind of stuff.

“Today it's been the opposite, it's going away from us. I think I did the same lap time as I did in FP3 and with fuel loads and engine modes there's quite a lot of time in there.

“So it's a bit of scratching heads. Personally speaking it wasn't a great job. But it's hard when the grip's just not there and it's fighting a lot of snaps and a lot of moments during the laps. So frustrating.”

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