Logan Sargeant was puzzled by the inconsistent track boundary monitoring throughout the weekend of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which saw his only competitive qualifying lap time scrapped.
The new Williams driver clocked a 1’29.721 after the opening heats of Q1, faster than teammate Alex Albon.
However, Sargeant’s first attempt was hastily erased by the race stewards, who found he had narrowly crossed the pit lane entry line on the start-finish straight.
The race director’s notes prior to the event stipulated that any competitor committing such an offense would have their respective lap times void.
But Sargeant, whose time would have been good enough for 13th place, expressed frustration at being penalized for an infringement he believes had not been properly enforced up to that point.
“I guess I just put my left front on the paint at the pit entrance it’s frustrating, there were no police all weekend and we didn’t have a reference when we got into qualifying and I’m doing what I’ve been doing all weekend made and it was deleted”, he regrets.
Still, Sargeant took the blame for not setting a representative lap time afterwards.
After failing to make it into Q2 in Bahrain with the same lap time second behind Lando Norris, Sargeant pushed hard in the dying embers of Q1.
But a spin at Turn 22 brought out the double-waved yellow flags and spelled an awkward end to his second ever F1 qualifying session.
“It’s still my fault, I had two laps left to put in a time, I didn’t have any so obviously I’m disappointed in myself, the team gave me a great car and we had a lot of speed to be honest be. It’s disappointing not to drive a lap for them,” he lamented.
Despite the small error, Sargeant has claimed he didn’t feel any extra pressure to match the speed he was able to squeeze out in his erased run.
“Not the second lap, I was on another great lap, on my own, just asking a little too much [Turn] 22 and when I was spinning there I lost feeling on the brake pedal so obviously I hit the brakes there and I don’t know if it affected me in turn 1 on the next lap, it’s just frustrating, I feel bad for the team, we deserved it a lot more today,” he added.
Instead, the Florida-born racer believes it was more of a case of oversteer that led to his mistake-strewn qualifying.
“Yeah that’s definitely changing, maybe I need to do something better, it’s definitely changing the emotions, you’re a little bit frustrated, you did a great lap, it’s taken from you, and you have to do it again and be taken away for it Nothing.
“Maybe it’s something I can see better to be sure like I said I didn’t feel the pressure for the second lap, was on a great lap just made a small mistake.”
With Albon also unable to make it past the first segment, Williams suffered a disappointing qualifying session after showing a promising pace turnaround in practice.
Despite being devastated over the mistake that contributed to his back row start, Sargeant is determined to make amends tomorrow.
The race stewards gave him permission to race after setting satisfactory lap times in practice.
“It’s been a tough weekend so far, but I’ve felt super comfortable… and just let it slip out of my hands. That’s never a nice feeling.
“But we’ll come back tomorrow and try to improve the order,” he said eagerly.