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Formula 1

Williams can join Abu Dhabi F1 test after rule tweak

by Edd Straw
3 min read

Logan Sargeant will make his Formula 1 testing debut for Williams in the post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix test after a change to the sporting regulations made it possible.

The unanimous approval of the other nine teams, the F1 Commission and the FIA World Motor Sport Council was required to allow the change that permitted Williams to run its 2021 car in the test given it necessitated a modification to the written regulations

During the test, the rules require the teams to run a mule car adapted for the the 2022 Pirelli tyres for the change to 18-inch wheelrims over two days, along with a single day of running for the 2021 car with a driver who has not participated in more than two grands prix.

Williams did not build a mule car for the Pirelli testing programme, which was a decision originally made before the team was taken over by Dorilton Capital. While producing a mule car to join the testing programme was subsequently evaluated, Williams decided against this.

The sporting regulations state that “in the event a competitor is unable to provide a car that is compatible with the tyres that will be used in the 2022 Formula 1 world championship, they will not be allowed to participate in this test”.

This meant Williams would be unable to run, but in order to accommodate its participation a tweak to the sporting regulations issued on December 8 added the caveat “unless otherwise approved by the FIA”. This allowed Williams to seek the FIA’s approval to run its 2021 car for the young driver day.

Motor Racing Fia Formula 2 Championship Saturday Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Formula 3 race-winner Sargeant, who made his Formula 2 debut for the HWA Racelab team in Saudi Arabia last weekend, joined the new Williams Academy in October.

The 20-year-old American has already had significant experience of the Williams-Mercedes FW43B in the simulator and is looking forward to his first taste of the real thing.

“I can’t wait for my first run in a Formula 1 car and want to thank the team for trusting me with this amazing opportunity,” said Sargeant.

“I’ve been spending time in the factory at Grove and getting to grips with the simulator, which has helped me get an initial feel for the characteristics of the FW43B, but to be able to get out on track will be an incredible experience and one that I won’t forget.

“I’ll be going into the test looking to perform the best I can and to learn as much as possible from the team.”

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship United States Grand Prix Practice Day Austin, Usa

Williams’s recently-appointed sporting director Sven Smeets is also overseeing the Williams Academy and is looking forward to Sargeant having his first test.

“I’m pleased that Williams can provide him with his first outing in Formula 1 machinery; I’m sure it will be a very special moment for him,” said Smeets.

“Whilst we won’t be running a mule car using the 18-inch Pirelli tyres, the test will still be beneficial for the team.

“It will also be an incredibly valuable opportunity for Logan to fully understand how we operate trackside.

“I know that having such an immersive experience will only build upon his evident skill and allows the team to continue to support his development whilst capitalising on his talent.”

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