While persisting on slick tyres during the race’s early wet stages, Logan Sargeant, the Williams driver, demonstrated commendable resilience amidst treacherous conditions. Even though it resulted in significant time lost, Sargeant successfully survived this challenging phase of the race.
In the phase when the track was drying, tragedy struck. A run-in with the inside kerb at Turn 8 caused him to veer off course on lap 15. This marked yet another misfortune for Sargeant who had just survived a severe crash on a drying track just a day prior, despite making his first appearance in Q3 during his rookie season.
When reminiscing about that moment, Sargeant expressed perplexity, stating to his team, “I don’t know what happened, man. Something failed on the front right when I hit the kerb.” James Vowles confirmed Sargeant’s crash was triggered by a hydraulic issue that impaired the steering.
Elucidating on the incident with more depth to F1 Initiative, Vowles shared, “There’s an apex kerb, he ran over the kerb multiple times.” It was not an isolated incident during this race, Vowles revealed that Sargeant had run over the kerb, creating considerable load stress on the vehicle’s floor. The eventual result was a loss of all hydraulic pressure.
Vowles clarified the consequences of hydraulic pressure loss in an F1 car, making it clear that it leaves the driver devoid of steering control amongst other things. However, he pointed out that the circumstances were distinct from the qualifying round, an area that needs their review and understanding.
The constant reminder of his qualifying incident evidently weighed on Sargeant’s performance in the wet early stages of the race. He confessed, “It was a tricky first 15 laps just being too cautious, not wanting to crash after what happened yesterday.” However, while he started to regain rhythm gradually as the track was drying, his encounter with the apocalypse kerb at Turn 8, the lost hydraulics and power steering sent him off the road.
Sargeant expressed his remorse for the results of the race and described his disappointment for his team, lamenting, “Another destroyed car.” He explained further about the kerb incident saying, “I’ve used it all weekend, to be honest. And it wasn’t like I was hitting it crazy hard. But I was definitely using it throughout the weekend. It was always okay, so I’m not sure.”
Reflecting on his decision to stick with slicks in the early wet stages of the race, the American driver expressed a desire for a change to intermediates. He thought it might have instilled greater confidence to push, given Saturday’s occurrence. Alas, he concluded, “But at the end of the day, the end result was unfortunately inevitable.”