Joining the Williams academy last season and showing this year he can win in Formula 2, Jost Capito says there would be “something wrong” with the junior programme if he did not promote Logan Sargeant.
With Nicholas Latifi on his way out from both Williams and Formula 1 at the end of the 2022 campaign, the Grove team announced Sargeant as his replacement.
Although the American driver is only in his first season in Formula 2, he has impressed Capito by taking two wins and four podium finishes in total.
As such, the German believes promoting the 21-year-old is the right thing to do, both for Sargeant and for Williams’ junior programme.
“It is good for Formula 1 to have an American driver,” he said. “But we didn’t pick Logan in the academy because he’s American, we picked him because of his success and his past in racing.
“If we take the kids, if we put them into the academy, it’s the objective to get them in the Formula 1 car.
“And if you have a young driver who is ready for Formula 1, and you have the seat, you have to put the young driver into the seat – otherwise, you’ve done something wrong.
“That’s why we came to that conclusion, that it’s the right thing. And that Logan is American is just nice to have, but it’s not the initiation of the decision.”
And Capito is confident Sargeant is ready for Formula 1.
With two podiums to his name – P3 in the Spanish Grand Prix sprint race and P2 in the feature race in Baku – Sargeant claimed his first F2 race win at Silverstone’s feature race as he beat fellow F1 hopeful Théo Pourchaire to the chequered flag.
A week later he proved he was not a one-hit wonder, holding off Enzo Fittipaldi to win at the Red Bull Ring.
But with just one year in Formula 2, there are some pundits worried Formula 1 has come too fast for Sargeant.
Logan Sargeant looks set to race for Williams next year, he'll be the first American driver in F1 since 2015 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/1bZXgskZ3T
— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) October 22, 2022
Capito has denied this.
Conceding you “never know how the development is”, he said: “From my history, I’m known to get young drivers in quickly because that’s the best way to find out what the potential really is and not park him.
“And if we see someone is ready, like we see Logan this season, we can take the decision.
“He wouldn’t have been lost if we would have decided he needs another year in F2, then he would have done that as well.
“But we see coming in as a rookie, winning races and showing that performance in qualifying, it’s the right thing to step up.”
Sargeant’s place on next year’s grid is not yet guaranteed, the driver still needing to secure the 40 points required for a Super Licence.