Saturday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya brought changeable conditions, but we could not break out of the bottom five in a Qualifying session that was full of drama.
Earlier in the day, practice began with an imminent threat of rain and just as Logan Sargeant was completing his second lap, the increasingly wet surface caught the American out.
His FW45 snapped as he rounded the final turn, sending him on a trip through the gravel, subsequently colliding with the barrier.
The team faced a busy lunch getting his car rebuilt for qualifying, which they achieved.
Progression to Q2 would have been an excellent result for the team, but sadly Alex Albon’s best time was just under three-tenths shy of making it through.
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The Thai racer will start from P18, ahead of the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, whilst Logan will start from the back of the grid.
“I really like the conditions we drove in qualifying, I normally tend to do well in them,” our No23 shared.
“But I just got caught out on my first lap and the damage affected the rest of the session, which is a bit of a shame, but we’ve got some pace.
“I feel like we’ve used this weekend as a bit more of a test session because of us being a bit more off the pace than normal.
“I think we’ve focused a little more on the Sunday car which should hopefully put us in a good place tomorrow.”
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Logan’s qualifying chances had been hampered by his FP3 incident, but he was quick to thank the team for their efforts.
“Firstly, grateful to the team for turning the car around for qualifying,” he commented.
“The first lap back out wasn’t too bad. Everyone wants to get in front starting the last lap, and I had a compromised out lap with the tyres a bit out of the window for that last push, which was frustrating.
“I’m disappointed but I put us on the back foot earlier today. Tomorrow’s going to be tricky, but we’ll see what we can do.”
Dave Robson kept a close eye on the proceedings throughout Saturday from the Pit Wall, concluding our reaction.
“We made some large changes overnight to both cars and managed to progress the setup,” our Head of Vehicle Performance said.
“Fortunately, we were able to complete a few laps during the early part of FP3 to confirm the balance.
“Logan went through the gravel at T14 just as the first spots of rain started falling and this did a lot of damage to his car, requiring another stellar effort from the team to get his car ready for qualifying.
“Meanwhile, Alex had a quick look at the intermediate tyre and was comfortable with his car.
“Conditions were tricky at the start of qualifying, but this was an opportunity for us to make some progress and in a clean session, Alex was capable of making Q2.
“This would have been an excellent result but an early trip to the gravel at T5 damaged the floor of his car and he carried an aerodynamic penalty through the rest of qualifying.
“Logan had a compressed Q1 session following the repairs to his car. He had a tricky final out lap negotiating the traffic whilst preparing his tyres and couldn’t put a representative lap together.
“There may be further rain around tomorrow afternoon and so we’ll look to take advantage of that.”
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