Williams deliver significant update on Logan Sargeant’s F1 future

Jamie Woodhouse
Logan Sargeant in the Williams garage.

Logan Sargeant pictured in the Williams garage.

Williams team boss James Vowles has thrown his support behind their struggling rookie Logan Sargeant, claiming the progress is there and they are “nowhere near” the point of considering his future.

Sargeant came into Formula 1 with a great deal of attention as the series welcomed in its first American driver since 2015, the nation having become a huge market for Formula 1 as its popularity boom continues.

However, the Florida native is not enjoying the greatest of starts to his F1 career after graduating from the Williams Driver Academy.

Williams continuing to support Logan Sargeant

While experienced team-mate Alex Albon has posted 21 points so far in F1 2023, Sargeant is yet to get off the mark, while his Q1 shunt at Suzuka marked the latest in an unwanted growing collection of errors in his rookie campaign.

Incidents aside though, Vowles insists that the timing screens are not always telling the truth with Sargeant, who is yet to outqualify Albon, with Vowles explaining that Albon was running aerodynamic updates at Suzuka when Sargeant was not, yet Williams saw very little to choose between the pace of their drivers.

“Logan has very clear targets of what he has to hit before the end of the season,” said Vowles following the Japanese Grand Prix.

“And we’re working with him continuously. And that’s the important point. We’re working with him. We want him to succeed and we want him in the car next year.

“This is very much on us as well. We have taken someone straight from Formula 2 without any significant testing, and put a day-and-a-half in Bahrain in this car and then wish them well, on a season that has been awfully challenging for rookie drivers full stop.

“There were some very positive signs to take out of it. First and foremost, Logan is not on the same aerodynamics specification as Alex was. We have updates there on Alex’s car, but not on Logan’s, due to the amount of attrition we’ve had this year. So often when you see a performance offset, it’s not quite what it would seem on the timing pages.

“Furthermore to that, if we look at the case of Suzuka, he did a build-up across the weekend. As he went into FP3, he did a time that matched Alex and as we go into qualifying, until the accident, he was overlaying, line on line, within a tenth of Alex’s performance as well, at one of the trickiest circuits of the season.

“So the progress is there in certain forms, but very clearly being marred by a number of other issues and accidents that have appeared as well.

“We will continue to work with Logan and invest in Logan, as we want him to succeed as the result of the journey he’s on. He’s on a journey with us. We have a young driver programme that we will continue to invest in.

“Only at the point where all of us come to the conclusion that we’ve reached the end of that road, will we make any decisions, but we’re nowhere near that yet.”

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Mick Schumacher out of the running for Williams?

If Williams were to decide against retaining Sargeant for F1 2024, then former Haas driver and current Mercedes reserve Mick Schumacher had been name-dropped as a contender to take his place.

However, Auto Motor und Sport’s Tobi Grüner posted an image of Schumacher entering Williams hospitality at Suzuka, and claims that Vowles does not consider the German racer as a contender to drive for Williams.

“Just scrolled through my Suzuka pics. Saw Mick Schumacher visit James Vowles on Saturday asking if he’s got a chance to get a cockpit next year,” said Grüner in a social media post.

“But apparently he’s not on the Williams list. Logan Sargeant still looks to be the number one option.”

The upcoming Qatar Grand Prix marks an important race weekend for Sargeant as he and Albon head into action at the Lusail International Circuit, a venue which neither has competed at before.

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