After 13-time grand prix winner David Coulthard named Logan Sargeant as the biggest F1 2023 underperformer, former team boss Eddie Jordan said Sargeant would not have got in his team, with or without money.
A graduate of the Williams Driver Academy, Sargeant made the step up from Formula 2 to Formula 1 for 2023, becoming the first American driver to compete in the series since Alexander Rossi in 2015.
However, scoring just one point, following Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc being disqualified from the US Grand Prix, and whitewashed 22-0 in qualifying by team-mate Alex Albon, it was a tricky rookie season for Sargeant as Williams team boss James Vowles now looks over the data to decide if he will be retained for F1 2024.
Logan Sargeant would not have made Jordan Grand Prix cut
As part of the Formula for Success F1 2023 season review, Coulthard and Jordan were asked which driver they thought was the biggest underperformer of the season with the package they had at their disposal.
For Coulthard, Sargeant was the clear answer as he went on to ask Jordan whether Sargeant, taking any financial backing and his nationality out of it, would have been good enough for Jordan back in the day?
“The obvious one in comparison in laptime, has to be Logan Sargeant,” said Coulthard. “Half a second away from Albon.
“And I feel for Logan, because I genuinely would like all these guys to have success because it’s a privilege to be a professional sportsperson, but it just doesn’t seem to have gelled.
“For some drivers who have success in the lower formulas, Formula 1 is just a different animal and the consistency of performance, even though he had a great qualifying in Vegas and I think it was Zandvoort he did a really good job, but there’s just been too many sort of missed opportunities.
“And I’d be curious to know EJ, whether if he were in your team, and it was no financial benefit in keeping him or nationality benefit, would he make your two? And with the hope that suddenly he’s going to discover some pace and the penny is going to drop.”
Sadly for Sargeant, whether he was bringing the big bucks with him or not, the door at Jordan would have been closed.
“First of all, talent is something you have and you can’t buy it,” Jordan replied.
“Would he drive the car if he had no money? Absolutely not. Would he drive the car if he had a whole heap of money? I’m not even sure he would.
“Because if I look back, the Jarno Trullis, the Ralf Schumachers, the Eddie Irvines and the [Rubens] Barrichellos, whilst people might think that we went for money primarily, there was a fine line.
“Yes, we needed somebody to help pay the bills, but it’s not absolutely imperative, Eddie Irvine is case in point. But then there were other things that he brought in terms of other sponsors that helped to come as a result.
“Sargeant would not be in my team. We didn’t finish outside the top five that often and we got to number three, so to do that, you need really high quality drivers who know and you can’t rely on just one.
“I mean, of course, there were times that we did rely on one. But generally speaking, I think a very strong team-mate is exactly what you want.
“So the answer, Sargeant, I’m afraid wouldn’t be in my team.”
If Williams do retain Sargeant for F1 2024, then it would mean an unchanged grid heading into the new season.