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Why Williams are celebrating dream start to British GP weekend

It was a successful opening day to the British Grand Prix weekend for the Williams Driver Academy, with three of their drivers securing pole positions in various events on the F1 support bill.

Williams are celebrating a unique achievement to kick off the British Grand Prix weekend after three of their Driver Academy talents secured pole positions. Logan Sargeant claimed his first P1 on the grid for the Formula 2 Feature Race, having put in a lap of 1:38.432 with Carlin Racing. Sargeant had also set the pace in Free Practice. Earlier in the day, Zak O'Sullivan took his debut pole position in Formula 3, also driving for Carlin Racing. The event will be O'Sullivan's seventh race in the category. To complete the hat-trick, Jamie Chadwick continued her strong run of form in W Series by clinching yet another pole position, her 10th in the series to date. Chadwick has so far won every race of the 2022 campaign, and will be looking to add to her tally at Silverstone on Saturday.

Williams drivers hail "perfect" day at Silverstone

For Sargeant – who currently sits fourth in the F2 standings – things could not have gone much better on Friday. "It's been a perfect day for me here in Silverstone, with P1 in qualifying and Free Practice," the American said. "A massive thank you to Carlin for all their hard work as the car felt great today. I’m feeling really comfortable in the car and looking forward to the upcoming races over the next couple of days. "Hopefully we can score some big points!" O'Sullivan, meanwhile, was left surprised by his pace in F3 qualifying, but was thrilled to secure pole in front of the home crowd. "We were quick in Free Practice but I didn't really expect that – it's pretty surprising to be honest!" the 17-year-old admitted. "I'm really happy; thanks so much to the team who have been working hard since the start of the year to try to improve the package. What a great place to do it as well – it feels so special to do this at my home race!"

Chadwick seeking confidence in car

Despite her impressive form so far in 2022, Chadwick felt that she was initially lacking confidence in the early stages of Friday's W Series qualifying. "I kind of had to pull that lap out from somewhere. It’s a confidence circuit and I was always just a little bit under," she explained. "Emma [Kimilainen] put in a good lap and I really had to lay it on the line, and after I did that I found a bit of confidence in the car and it felt better. "I'm happy with that lap and now I have a bit more confidence going into tomorrow's race." The two-time champion remains wary of the impact that weather could have on the event. "I know I've got a strong group of girls behind me so I will see what I can do," Chadwick added. "You can have a proper race here and I think it might be wet. What will be will be, but I’m just happy I got a bit of confidence in that session, and I can get my head down tomorrow."

Williams thrilled with Friday success

The success of the Williams Driver Academy talent on Friday went down well with the team. Sven Smeets, Sporting Director, said of their achievements: "It's been a fantastic day for Jamie, Logan and Zak and extra special for Jamie and Zak as they’ve got these pole positions at their home race. "We're incredibly proud of how hard they are working and these results are a testament to the effort put in this year. We're excited to see how the weekend's races play out here at Silverstone." As for the Grove-based squad's fortunes in Formula 1, Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi were – like most of the field – unable to get much running in Free Practice 1 due to the weather conditions. They gained further track time in Free Practice 2, though kerb damage to the rear of Albon's car prevented him from completing his high fuel running.

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