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Damning situation rocks F1 team at Australian Grand Prix

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A dire situation has unfolded for one team at the Australian Grand Prix after the opening day around the Albert Park circuit.

Williams has endured a tough start to the 2024 season and things only got worse for the team on Friday.

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Alex Albon, the more experienced of the two Williams drivers, lost control with around 18 minutes to go in the session and slammed into the wall which triggered a red flag.

Albon rode the curb on the exit of turn 6 which saw the Williams bottom out and lose all traction as he went to put the foot back down.

Thankfully the 27-year-old emerged from the car unscathed, but that’s not where the issues arose for the team.

A damning rumour spread through the paddock on Friday that the team didn’t have a spare chassis to repair Albon’s car with.

Those fears were confirmed before the team made the extraordinary decision to drop lesser experienced driver Logan Sargeant with Albon to take his car for the remainder of the weekend.

“I know Williams had an issue getting two cars ready for the start of the season but that was a month ago. If he’s damaged the tub and there’s not a spare, then he’s not going to take part in the weekend,” Sky Sports’ Ted Kravitz said in the wake of Albon’s crash.

“And that’d be the biggest shock of the days here so far … I’ll look into it but I can’t believe they don’t have a spare tub here.”

The team confirmed on Friday night that Albon’s car would be sent back to the factory and that he would be thrown into teammate Sargeant’s car.

The announcement was met with disbelief from F1 content creator Matt Amys who responded to the post by writing: “What the actual f*** is this F1 season.”

“Following Alex Albon’s accident during FP1 at the Australian Grand Prix, Williams Racing confirms that due to the extensive damage sustained it is forced to withdraw the chassis for the remainder of the Grand Prix,” the team said in a statement.

“This chassis will be returned to the team’s HQ at Grove for repair. Due to the fact that a third chassis is unavailable, the team can confirm it has taken the decision for Alex to compete for the remainder of the weekend in the chassis that Logan Sargeant drove in FP1 and FP2.”

Team principal James Vowles said the team was “hugely disappointed” in the outcome but said it was due to the team being so far behind.

Qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix will take place on Saturday from 4pm (AEDT)

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