Williams concedes shortage of backup components

Logan Sargeant “deserves” at least till the close of this season to show he’s up to the mark in Formula 1.

That sentiment is shared by the American rookie’s Williams boss James Vowles, with Sargeant facing intensifying calls to reduce his collisions and blunders, putting his racing position – the only yet-to-be-finalised berth for the 2024 roster – in jeopardy.

Team performance head Dave Robson acknowledges that these accidents have drained Williams’ backup component supplies for the forthcoming six grand prix events of the year.

“We are now using parts that have already been manufactured,” he confirmed. “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,” he is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.

Vowles points out that the scarcity of backup components is also a reflection of the team’s operations.

“Our production facilities are at the same level as they were 20 years ago,” he disclosed. “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,” Vowles detailed.

“I want that, but it’s better to put money into the cars for 2024 and 2025.”

Touching on the topic of the 22-year-old Sargeant, Vowles suggests some leniency for the young racer.

“Logan deserves this,” he remarked when questioned if Sargeant will at least have till season’s end to elevate his game.

“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.”

And Vowles believes there’s ample evidence suggesting Sargeant can indeed rise to the F1 challenge.

“He did the three practice sessions at Suzuka as I would hope from him,” he stated. “In his Q1 lap, he was almost exactly as fast as Alex up until the accident.

“That shows that he has the speed.”