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Williams to send Albon's F1 chassis back to UK for repairs before China

The Williams chassis crashed by Alex Albon on the first lap of the Formula 1 Japanese GP is being returned to the factory for repairs.

The cars of Daniel Ricciardo, RB F1 Team VCARB 01 and Alex Albon, Williams FW46 in the tyre barrier after they crashed on the opening lap

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

The chassis suffered damage to the front-right when Albon speared under the tyre wall after making contact with the RB of Daniel Ricciardo.

The team, which will be without a spare until the Miami GP, remains confident that it can be repaired successfully and shipped to Shanghai for the Chinese GP.

It was the third major accident suffered by the team in two weekends. In Australia, Albon crashed in FP1 and had to take over the chassis of team-mate Logan Sargeant, who had to watch the race from the garage.

In Suzuka, the American had an FP1 accident, and while his chassis survived intact further costly damage was incurred, including a cracked gearbox, that will soak up production resources at Grove.

Team principal James Vowles admitted in Suzuka on Friday that the team would still be without a spare tub in China.

"The third chassis at the moment won't be with us until Miami, a long way away,” he said.

“In terms of the chassis, if you put all of your resources everything you possibly had within the organisation on it, it could be 8-10 weeks that you pretty much get a chassis done from freezer to something actually built and out there.

“And that's by the time you get to a third chassis. It takes longer for the first ones as you get used to the process.

“Clearly, we don't have the whole organisation just working on that, we're working at the same time on spares and updates, and trying to get the throughputs.

“In our particular case clearly we have never had the intention of being here without three chassis, the intention was to have three right at the beginning of the year.

“It's an outcome from just an overload within the system, the complexity of this car, and the amount that we were trying to push through.

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“In terms of the complexity of it, it’s enormous. The chassis is thousands and thousands of pieces that you're trying to bring together at the same time.”

Albon admitted he thought of the potential consequences of the Suzuka accident while it was happening, saying it was 'exactly what we didn't need'.

No action was taken against Ricciardo or Albon, with stewards deeming it as a typical first-lap incident.

Watch: F1 2024 Japanese Grand Prix Review – Normal Service Resumed

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