American rookie Logan Sargeant has found himself under mounting scrutiny as he navigates his debut season.
However, his team principal at Williams, James Vowles, firmly believes that Sargeant deserves the remainder of the season to demonstrate his Formula 1 mettle, despite the growing pressure to eliminate errors that could jeopardise his race seat – the last unconfirmed spot on the 2024 grid.
Williams’ Team Performance boss, Dave Robson, concedes that Sargeant’s crashes have had repercussions beyond the racetrack.
The team now faces a shortage of spare parts for the final six grands prix of the current season, forcing them to utilise pre-existing components.
Robson remarked, “We are now using parts that have already been manufactured.
“That may mean we have to use old specifications for one part or another.
“The logistics and freight of how we get spare parts to the individual race tracks on this overseas tour is also more difficult.”
Vowles acknowledges that the strain on spare parts is partly attributed to Williams’ own constraints.
He revealed, “Our production facilities are at the same level as they were 20 years ago.
“We currently only have two autoclaves running for carbon fibre parts.
“To refresh the inventory of parts to the latest specification, we would have to outsource orders.
“That takes time and three times as much money.”
However, Vowles emphasized the importance of channeling resources wisely, stating, “I want that, but it’s better to put money into the cars for 2024 and 2025.”
When questioned about Logan Sargeant’s performance, Vowles expressed patience and belief in the young American driver.
He asserted, “Logan deserves this.
“It’s his first year in Formula 1.
“Others had two years and had accidents in the second season too.
“Formula 1 is a difficult business for rookies.
“They can hardly prepare for it and have to learn on the front line.”
Vowles also pointed out promising indicators that suggest Sargeant possesses the potential to excel in Formula 1.
“He did the three practice sessions at Suzuka as I would hope from him,” he noted.
“In his Q1 lap, he was almost exactly as fast as Alex up until the accident.
“That shows that he has the speed.”