Logan Sargeant says he had made an encouraging start to his first race weekend at Suzuka until a high-speed crash put him out of qualifying.
The Williams driver crashed at the final corner during Q1 which means he will start tomorrow’s race from last on the grid.
Earlier in the day, however, Sargeant had a positive final practice session where he came 16th and was a tenth of a second quicker than team mate Alexander Albon.
“It’s been a good day until the incident,” said Sargeant. “It was going well, and we had the car in a good window.”
However he admitted he took the wrong approach at the final corner when he went off. “I’ve just been struggling with rear overheating in the last sector,” he said. “I lost the rear on exit. Maybe a bit too aggressive on power with the tailwind as well.
“The grass creeps up on you quickly as it’s coming back towards you. Unfortunately, once I touched the grass there was nothing I could do. It’s disappointing and not what I wanted.”
It continues Sargeant’s poor run since the summer break. This is his third crash in the last four race weekends, including incidents in qualifying at Zandvoort and last Sunday’s race in Singapore.
The rookie said he intends to “put it behind me” before tomorrow’s race. “What can you do? It’s over with. I feel like it’s been a pretty good day to that point.”
“I’ve been pretty quick, it was pretty much where I needed to be,” he told the official F1 website. “Just another small mistake, hugely costly.”
Albon, who qualified 13th, said the hot, dry conditions did not suit Williams’ car.
“If this track was 10 degrees cooler, I think we would have been in Q3,” said Albon. “But it’s been a tough weekend and we’ve been on the backfoot, so to come out P13 I think is the most we could get out of qualifying.
“Coming into this weekend, we expected to be a bit further up but, considering how Friday went and how fine the margins are out there, it’s a good achievement.”
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