The American crashed hard in Suzuka qualifying. Logan Sargeant will start the Japanese GP from pit lane with a 10-second time penalty after Williams was found to have built “a device that is more than a survival track”. The American rookie crashed out of qualifying at the final corner of Q1 to finish last in the standings as pressure mounts on his future on the grid.
The Williams underwent an overhaul that also changed the chassis, such as damage caused by contact with obstacles. Although teams can carry a spare chassis from race to race, only survival cell recovery is allowed and the rest of the car must be built for a crash. However, the technical representative of the FIA found that more than a survival cell had been built, which basically meant the use of a third Williams car in the board.
The start of the pit lane was determined by the changes made to Sargeant’s car in the Parc fermé conditions, and in addition, a 10-second penalty took into account the use of a third car. “The technical representative informed the jury (Document 28) that the competitor worked on the car for two hours after the checkered flag,” reads the jury’s report.
“The report stated that the chassis in question was assembled in more than a configuration consisting of a survival compartment in Article 27.2 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations and must therefore be considered a third car at the disposal of the competitor.” in document 29, the technical officer explained that parts with different specifications were installed during Parc fermé than those originally used during Q1. “After hearing from the competitor, the technical representative and the first-place driver, the jury came to the conclusion that during qualifying (Q1), the number 02 Williams Racing car was involved in an accident in which chassis 01 was damaged beyond repair.”
After the qualifying time of the session, the chassis was assembled to level 03, which exceeded the level defined in clause 27.2 of the Sports Regulations, which defines the condition of the chassis to be considered a car. “Therefore, the Williams Racing team was found to have violated Article 27.1 of the Sporting Regulations, which states that each competitor may not have more than two cars available during the race.
“Furthermore, it should be noted that the time available to assemble the a whole car in Parc Fermé is limited and therefore can in case of a serious accident, it can endanger the participation of the car in the competition.
Also, it should be noted that changes were made to the technical conditions of car 2 and therefore, according to article 40.9, it must start the race from the pit lane due to a different infringement.
“According to TD 021/Number G of 22/08/23, the minimum penalty for a violation is to leave the pit road. In addition, the jury can impose an additional penalty.
“Since the beginning, already imposed for the change of parts on the pit lane, the additional penalty for the presence of a third platform was appropriate.