James Vowles says Williams’ recent spate of accidents will have an impact their potential car performance over the rest of the year.

The team have suffered three significant accidents to their cars over the last six days of grand prix competition across the Australian and Japanese Grand Prix weekends.

Alexander Albon damaged his car so badly during practice in Melbourne the team were unable to repair it. They made the controversial decision to give Albon his team mate’s chassis, forcing Logan Sargeant to sit out the race.

Sargeant then crashed during Friday’s practice session at Suzuka last week. Although his car was repaired and able to be raced on Sunday, then Albon crashed out on the opening lap after a collision with Daniel Ricciardo.

Team principal Vowles said Albon’s car will be completely repaired and ready for next week’s fifth round of the championship in China.

“It was a pretty major accident with Alex,” Vowles said in a video published by the team. “The car went into the tyre wall, the deceleration was fairly large. Fortunately, both Alex and Daniel were okay. Accidents like that could end up with an injury and we didn’t have that in that circumstance.

“In terms of the chassis itself, it would have been repairable trackside,” he confirmed. “However, we can do a far better job by sending it here back to the UK. It will be a lighter repair than what we would’ve been to do there and a more complete repair as well. So there is damage, but nothing that we can’t repair and we’ll have the car back in China as a result.”

Williams had installed upgraded parts on both their cars for the Japanese Grand Prix weekend. Vowles said the team would have to completely rebuild replacement parts for the upcoming round in Japan.

“In terms of the accident damage itself, the more significant item is probably that across the last two races, we’ve lost a number of floors, a number of rear wings, a number of front wings,” he explained. “Suspension components, gearboxes have been impacted as well.

“This is a large, large list by any standard and it’s hard to keep up with the amount of spare quantities required at the same time as working as performance updates in the background. We always plan a certain amount of financial attrition from components, but clearly not in two weeks like it is now, but spread rather across the 24-race season.”

Because of the damage and lack of potential data for the new parts acquired from the weekend, Vowles admitted that Williams’ performance later in the season will be affected compared to if the accidents had not happened.

“It will have an impact on what we do performance-wise later on in the year,” he said. “The performance components that we brought forward through hard work to Japan are unfortunately destroyed.

“So again, that puts us on the back foot for performance across the next few races while we build up stock of those again. So a little bit of a short-term, a little bit of a medium-term impact on where we are.”

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