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Damning situation rocks F1 team at Australian Grand Prix

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Damning situation rocks F1 team at Australian Grand Prix

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A dire situation has unfolded for one team at the Australian Grand Prix after the opening day around the Albert Park circuit.

Williams has endured a tough start to the 2024 season and things only got worse for the team during the first practice session.

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Alex Albon, the more experienced of the two Williams drivers, lost control with around 18 minutes to go in the session and slammed into the wall which triggered a red flag.

Albon rode the curb on the exit of turn 6 which saw the Williams bottom out and lose all traction as he went to put the foot back down.

Thankfully the 27-year-old emerged from the car unscathed, but that’s not where the issues arose for the team.

A damning rumour spread through the paddock on Friday that the team didn’t have a spare chassis to repair Albon’s car with.

Those fears were confirmed later by the team at Sky Sports, which puts the former Red Bull driver’s weekend in serious danger.

Sky Sports’ Ted Kravitz said he “can’t believe it” that Williams wouldn’t have a spare chassis in Melbourne.

“I know Williams had an issue getting two cars ready for the start of the season but that was a month ago. If he’s damaged the tub and there’s not a spare, then he’s not going to take part in the weekend,” he said.

“And that’d be the biggest shock of the days here so far … I’ll look into it but I can’t believe they don’t have a spare tub here.”

The situation now leaves Williams in an ugly situation with the likelihood they could throw Albon into the seat of his teammate’s car.

Team principal James Vowles confirmed the option is on the table, which would leave Sargeant watching on from the sidelines.

“It was a fairly big accident,” Vowles told Motorsport.com.

“The engine is damaged, the gearbox is split in two, and the chassis is damaged.

“It’s the worst you could have ever had. We do not have a third chassis here, that’s correct. So now it’s just whether we can repair this one.

“We have repair kits, fundamentally of those I’m not yet sure, because it’s a very serious accident and with what happened on the front (right) corner.

“One point here will make the difference between sixth and 10th potentially in the championship, simple as that.”

Qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix will take place on Saturday from 4pm (AEDT)

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