With the points for a Formula 1 super licence hanging in the balance, Logan Sargeant went into the final Formula 2 weekend of the season balancing “risk and reward”.
It paid off, the Californian finishing the championship in fourth place and securing enough points to accept Williams’ offer of a 2023 Formula 1 race seat.
The 21-year-old was third on the F2 log heading into the 14th and final race weekend of the series in Abu Dhabi, and needed eighth or better to secure the necessary super licence points.
But with so much at stake he had to weigh up the odds between attacking and accepting, and spent much of the feature race just holding on his position rather than risk an attack going bad which could have cost him a handful of points for not having a clean licence.
At the end of it all a P6 in the sprint race followed up by a fifth in the feature race meant he finished fourth for the season, the super licence points enough to secure his spot on the 2023 F1 grid.
“I was looking for a balance between risk and reward,” Sargeant told Motorsport.com. “The pressure wasn’t as great as I expected. I knew what was at stake. That took the pressure off.
“I knew it would work out if we performed as we could and showed the same speed we’d shown all year. During the races I had to be not too aggressive, but also not too restrained.
“I wanted to stay realistic. I knew I still had a job to do. Of course there was a bit of pressure on my shoulders.”
That pressure, though, didn’t come from Williams.
Although team boss Jost Capito, who has since left the team, said Sargeant would get Nicholas Latifi’s seat if he bagged the points, the American says Williams never asked anything specific of him or pointed out something he needed to improve.
“Not that I know of,” he said. “I simply had to perform well and finish somewhere at the top of the championship to secure my super license.
“I’ve had a strong debut season with Carlin. Sometimes things didn’t quite work out as they should, but the pace shown was strong. We’re at a finished in a good position in the championship.”
The 2022 season was Sargeant’s first in Formula 2 having contested the F3 series with Charouz Racing System the year before. That season, 2021, he was P7 with just one win on the board. In F2, he secured two wins with a P4 overall.
He also took part in four Friday FP1 sessions with Williams late in 2022, running from the United States GP through to Abu Dhabi.
“It feels to me that the combination of a whole F2 season and the fact that I learned a lot about myself and racing has done me good,” he added. “My qualifying in particular has improved.
“The most important thing is the amount of time I have spent in F1 simulator, free practice and the final test in Abu Dhabi, which gave me the chance to step out of my comfort zones and improve.”
Sargeant will partner Alex Albon at Williams next season, the team yet to announce Capito’s replacement.