F1’s worst-kept secret? Williams ‘accidentally confirm’ F1 2024 driver line-up

Michelle Foster
Williams' Gulf livery appears for the first time ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.

The Williams logo on the tip of the FW45's nose.

Williams seem to have accidentally confirmed Logan Sargeant as their 2024 driver when perhaps the excitement of finishing P7 in the championship led to a slip of the tongue.

As things stand today, Sargeant is the only driver on the 2023 grid who has not been officially announced as a 2024 F1 driver.

This led to rumours Mick Schumacher could replace him, Liam Lawson was also said to be in line, and more recently Mercedes’ junior and runner-up in the F2 championship, Fred Vesti.

‘Looking forward to the winter together and many more’

But as the rumour mill ran rampant, the Williams team continued to back Sargeant with team boss James Vowles talking up his progress.

His point-scoring finish at the United States Grand Prix went a long way toward swinging the odds in his favour.

And it now seems it’s a done deal, the team accidentally confirming him in their radio messages after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Airing the post-race messages between the drivers and their teams, the official live timing on Formula1.com revealed that between Sargeant and Williams. It was not broadcast on the world feed.

“P16 and we are seventh in the championship,” said his engineer, Gaetan Jego. “I think that was a good race.

“Thank you for this year, it was a pleasure to be alongside you this year. Thank you, mate.”

Sargeant responded: “Thank you guys very much. Obviously, we’ve had our ups and downs, but I really feel there’s momentum building, and just getting stronger and stronger. Couldn’t have chosen a better group of people to spend it with.

“And yeah I just hope we can continue it. Thank you guys.”

Jego replied: “Thank you, Logan. Looking forward to next year buddy.”

Team boss Vowles was the next on the radio to the American rookie, and told his driver: “Well done, I’m sorry we didn’t have the car underneath you today to do more than that.

“You’re contribution this year has been excellent. It’s been a proud moment to watch you grow across the season so far.

“Looking forward to the winter together and many more.”

Sargeant: “Thank you very much, James, I appreciate it.”

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‘I’m afraid you’re getting ahead of yourself’

However, speaking to F1TV after the race, Vowles refused to officially confirm the 22-year-old as Alex Albon’s 2024 teammate.

“I’m afraid you’re getting ahead of yourself,” he said. “but whatever happens, Logan has been in our academy for many, many years,” he said.

“He will always remain a part of our academy. He’s still an excellently quick driver.

“But I think also, if we step away from that and look at the last five races and how he’s been improving, I think you can see signs that he’s doing what we need to earn the seat.

“But we’re not in a position to confirm that at this point in time. The main thing I want him to be aware of, is I’m proud of the steps he’s made.”

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