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Logan Sargeant Points to “Steering Wheel Glitch” For Poor Bahrain GP Performance

Williams introduced a brand-new steering wheel on the FW46 which has come with a whole bunch of new technical problems. ...

Williams introduced a brand-new steering wheel on the FW46 which has come with a whole bunch of new technical problems. While the wheel needed to be upgraded to reach the standard set by the other teams, it has hampered Logan Sargeant’s race, causing his slide in Turn 4.

He might’ve qualified 18th, but Sargeant quickly climbed to 13th before the incident. On-board footage shows that the car moved the brake balance forward to 94% without any input. Which makes sense considering no driver would ever set a brake balance like that.

Sargeant pitted to change his steering wheel, but by then it was too late, his race was ruined and he would finish dead last and down two laps.

The new wheel features an LED screen on the wheel itself rather than the chassis bulkhead, a practice which every team has adopted, but it has been plagued by electronic issues that were apparent in testing.

“We’ve had some electronics issues [through the weekend] in qualifying and [through the race], and just need to understand the core issue,” Sargeant told the media.

“We thought we fixed it, but obviously it came back. It didn’t happen again after we changed the steering wheel, so maybe it is something there.

“We just need to understand the core cause and try not to let it happen again moving forward.

“It was just doing things on its own, without my asking, so I don’t completely understand it from my side, but I figured [the race] was over. I don’t want to say anything until I know exactly what happened.”

The electronics might have been an issue, but Williams also struggled with the balance of the car meaning both drivers struggled to get it into a good operating window.

“The balance was not in as good of a place as we had it for the long runs in testing and FP2, so I definitely struggled a little bit to have the car in the right window,” Sargeant explained.

“But it is nothing we can’t fix, it is small things, like just not quite having the front-wing where we need it for different compounds, so just a little bit to go through there.

“It was tricky as well as I couldn’t really be in a rhythm, I had a lot of blue flags and letting people through and it just unsettles everything.”

It certainly isn’t the start to the season that Sargeant, or Williams, was hoping for considering his lacklustre 2023. Though at least this time it isn’t his fault at all, but what is more concerning is the FW46’s performance. Hopefully, the team simply got the balance wrong rather than the team sliding backwards after an impressive 2023.

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