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Vowles admits chassis swap move is unacceptable

NEWS STORY
23/03/2024

Understandably, Williams decision to withdraw Logan Sargeant from this weekend's Australian Grand Prix has not gone down well.

The move, which comes in the same week that Zak Brown opined that all F1 teams are worth "north of 1m", follows the revelation that the Grove outfit was until recently using an Excel spreadsheet to track spare parts, and just a year after team boss James Vowles admitted that much of the team infrastructure hasn't been updated for twenty years.

As Williams announced its plan to withdraw Sargeant in order that teammate Alex Albon could take over his car, it led to a backlash on social media, with fans claiming that the treatment of the American driver reflected the sport's attitude to countryman Michael Andretti's bid to enter the sport.

While this might be somewhat tenuous, the fact is that no team should be this unprepared, and Vowles agrees.

"This decision was not made lightly," he said, "and we cannot thank Logan enough for his graceful acceptance, demonstrating his dedication to the team; he is a true team player.

"It's unacceptable in modern day Formula 1 not to have a spare chassis," the Briton admitted, "but it is a reflection of how behind we were in the winter period and an illustration of why we need to go through significant change in order to get ourselves in a better position for the future. As a result, we have had some very difficult decisions to make this afternoon.

"This will prove a tough weekend for Williams, and this situation is not one that we will put ourselves in again," he continued. "We are hugely disappointed that the damage sustained to the chassis has meant we need to withdraw it from the weekend."

Check out our Friday gallery from Melbourne here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by ffracer, 26/03/2024 8:02

"No James, showing up without a spare tub and proper spares halfway around the world is unacceptable. This isn’t the first time that Williams shows up unprepared. This limits the show and they should have been penalized . James Vowles is amazing as Team Principal but come on... How many employees? How much budget? How much sponsorship? Did you just bring a couple of extra wishbones, six gear sets, some wing sets and an extra fuel can? This is Formula One, you’re not racing in a soapbox derby with a couple of volunteers... This is unacceptable, sorry for the sharpness. Gutted for the drivers, sponsors and legions of fans worldwide."

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2. Posted by Chester, 23/03/2024 15:51

"Sad situation, but Logan knew these guys were backmarkers when he joined.

Any American who complains about Albon getting Logan's car doesn't follow American stick and ball sports, where the lesser talent gets pulled in favor of the greater talent.

And Excel? Surely Vowles is not blaming lack of a backup chassis on a poorly maintained Excel."

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3. Posted by Rock Doc, 22/03/2024 20:00

"I hear that Vowles also found some of the previous years car design on the back of a couple of napkins. "

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4. Posted by Superbird70, 22/03/2024 19:57

"At least it was Excel and not Lotus 1-2-3. And they thought Andretti would be an embarrassment."

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5. Posted by KKK, 22/03/2024 18:31

"Parts on a spread sheet? Really? Pitiful. "

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