Jenson Button’s advice for the rising US star looking to reach Formula 1

Thomas Maher
Williams Logan Sargeant pictured on the pitwall during the 2022 season.

Williams Logan Sargeant pictured on the pitwall during the 2022 season.

Jenson Button, the 2009 F1 World Champion, has offered Logan Sargeant some advice ahead of the American’s FP1 appearance in Austin.

The Williams junior driver gets his first chance to participate in a grand prix weekend when he takes the wheel of the FW44 for first practice at the Circuit of The Americas.

The American, currently racing in Formula 2, is a candidate for a race seat in 2023 as replacement for the departing Nicholas Latifi, but has to finish in the top five in the F2 Drivers’ Championship to secure the required Super Licence points. As it stands, he is third in the standings with the Abu Dhabi round still to go – nine points clear of a trio of drivers behind.

Williams are giving Sargeant the outing at this weekend’s race as they fulfil the FIA’s requirement to field a junior driver for two grand prix FP1 appearances during the season, and Button had some advice to offer the young American.

Jenson Button encourages Logan Sargeant to ‘just enjoy it’

“He’s gonna have a lot of pressure on his shoulders,” Button told host James Lorenzo on the Williams Warm-up ahead of the United States Grand Prix weekend.

“He’s driving an F1 car in the US as an American, so he’s got to try and stay relaxed and realise it’s a test day. It’s not about trying to set the quickest time.

“He needs to just enjoy it. Enjoy the moment, give as good feedback as possible for the team because obviously it’s experience for him but it’s also experience for the team for that race weekend to have both drivers’ input.”

It is not Sargeant’s first time driving a Williams F1 car, having been given the chance to drive the FW43 at the Young Drivers’ Test at Yas Marina after last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Logan Sargeant drives the Williams out of the garage at the Abu Dhabi test. Yas Marina December 2021.
Logan Sargeant drives the Williams out of the garage during the post-season Abu Dhabi test. Yas Marina December 2021.

Button, who joined Williams as an adviser ahead of the 2021 season after racing for the team for his debut year in F1 in 2000, urged Sargeant to take a relaxed approach to his opportunity in Texas.

“I don’t think he’s done a lot of driving around that circuit in Austin and it’s not an easy one to learn,” he pointed out.

“He’s been in the simulator a lot and will be in it a lot more for the session. But for him, it’s to relax and do his thing. He knows how to drive a racing car. Listen to what the engineers are saying. Listen to what your team-mate is doing and make sure you’re prepared when you get in the car.”

Logan Sargeant anticipating a learning experience at COTA

Sargeant, who was signed to Williams’ development programme ahead of the United States GP in 2021, admitted to feeling some nerves ahead of taking to the track in front of his home crowd.

“Obviously, it’s pretty much like a one-year anniversary for me with the team. It was a special day for me getting a chance to move into F2 and also joining a Formula 1 Academy – it’s obviously a special moment,” he said.

“It will be special in front of the American fans and I’ll try to enjoy it.

“Obviously, you’re always slightly nervy getting into something you’re not completely comfortable with.

“But as I said, the plan is just to enjoy it. Learn as much as I can and enjoy my first official outing in Formula 1.

“I’ve been there [at COTA] once before, around four years ago in an Indy Lights car, so it’s been a while. I know my way around and I’m sure it will come back to me pretty quick.”

Read More: How Abu Dhabi is crucial to Logan Sargeant’s chances of reaching Formula 1