Logan Sargeant has been given the green light to race at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix despite failing to qualify.
There is a rule which states a driver must set a time which is within 107% of the time set by the pole-sitter in order to qualify for the event. Sargeant failed to hit that target in a disrupted qualifying session for the only American racer in Formula 1.
He will start the race in Jeddah dead last after all three of his attempts to set a representative time failed. He though he had done so at the first attempt, but had his time deleted for crossing the pit entry line at the very end of the lap.
On his second attempt, Sargeant span his car at the high-speed turn 22 and was extremely fortunate to not bury his Williams in the wall. Commentating on Sky, Martin Brundle quipped that the Floridian "must have his lucky underpants on".
He had one more chance to set a quick time and was going well, until he was caught out again at the tricky turn 22. He did not spin this time, but hit the kerb hard which caused damage to the floor of his car and meant he had to abort the lap.
As he did not satisfy the 107% rule, his team had to apply for special permission for Sargeant to race tomorrow. After hearing the case, the stewards have granted that permission as he set quick enough times in practice to prove that he is fast enough to race.
The American cut a frustrated figure as he faced the media after the session. He told F1 TV: "It was in the event notes to not cross the pit entry line, so it's on me. I feel like we need to do a better job of policing it in free practice to use it as a reference.
"I did exactly that run all weekend and [this time] it gets deleted, so that's a bit frustrating. On the positive side, the car was super quick and I felt really good. Obviously I made a couple of mistakes but that's just details. I'm disappointed in myself to not put a lap together for the team.
"But it is what it is. Onwards and upwards. It's not a mistake I want to make. I was up on my first lap and I didn't need to push as hard as I did trying to find every last 100th. It caught me out and put a lot of pressure on the last lap, which I didn't deliver."2023-03-18T20:21:12Z dg43tfdfdgfd