Logan Sargeant saw his hopes of making Q2 on his Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix scuppered by a regulation after setting an identical lap time to Lando Norris.
The American rookie impressed throughout his first weekend and was trying to join his team-mate Alex Albon in Q2 as he set the final lap of the opening part of qualifying. A good lap saw him match the lap time of McLaren’s Norris to the thousandth of a second — both posting a 1m31.652s — but the regulations state the car that sets the time first is to be classified ahead.
Despite being just 0.659s off the overall quickest time in Q1, it meant Sargeant was eliminated while Norris went through in 15th place, but the Floridian also felt he had left the time out on track after a slight error.
“It’s a dream come true to go out and qualify in Formula 1,” Sargeant said. “We had good pace today and the team deserved to have both cars in Q2. A slight mistake in Sector 1 cost me as I struggled to find my brake point with the change of wind at Turn 1.
“However, we’ve laid a good foundation for ourselves to build off going forward. I think we had the car in a great window this evening. In terms of balance it was right where I wanted it, I just needed to put it together slightly better. It’s going to be a pretty special feeling when the lights go out tomorrow. I’ll try to get off the line clean, have a good first lap and build from there.”
The two Williams drivers will still line-up alongside each other as Albon qualified 15th due to a front wing issue in Q2, with the more experienced of the two feeling the car had a chance of qualifying in the top ten given the competitive nature of the field.
“We had some front wing damage in qualifying, and we lost one of the flaps, so we didn’t complete a lap in Q2,” Albon said. “It’s disappointing as, looking at the times in Q2, I really believe we could have made it to Q3.
“I’m a bit disappointed after being P9 in Q1 and I feel like we deserved more than where we qualified but I think if you look at where we were this time last year and where we are at this year, apart from Aston Martin, we’re the team that has made the biggest step forward.
“I’m really proud of everyone at the team and at the factory and things are going in the right direction. We really do come alive when the track becomes cold and I would say our race pace is stronger than our qualifying pace, so let’s see what happens tomorrow.”