Logan Sargeant’s ‘biggest strength’ was arguably Nicholas Latifi’s greatest weakness

Michelle Foster
Williams F1 2023 driver Logan Sargeant. Austin October 2022.

Logan Sargeant smiles while taking part in his first FP1 session as a Williams driver. Austin October 2022.

New Williams signing Logan Sargeant has called qualifying his “bread and butter”, in sharp contrast to his predecessor’s 20-2 loss in last year’s championship.

Nicholas Latifi had a wretched 2022 season, his efforts not helped by his qualifying performance where he lined up at the back of the grid more often than any other driver.

He lost his qualifying head-to-head against team-mate Alex Albon 19-2 and was even out-qualified by one-off rookie Nyck de Vries at the Italian Grand Prix.

The good news for Williams is that his replacement, Sargeant, believes qualifying is one of his biggest strengths.

“I feel like qualifying is my bread and butter,” he said as per the official F1 website.

“It’s always been my favourite point of the weekend, when the car’s light, the new tyres are on and it’s just a chance to lay it all on the line and give it absolutely everything.

“I would say that’s probably my biggest strength, that’s what I’ve always enjoyed the most, so I would probably start there.”

Last season in Formula 2 Sargeant put his Carlin on pole position twice, who also bagging several second row starting positions.

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‘No numerical position’ for 2023 goal for Logan Sargeant

With the pressure on to get the super licence points to secure the Williams seat, the American didn’t buckle, putting in back-to-back mature drives in the Yas Marina sprint and feature races.

Finishing fourth overall the 22-year-old secured more than the 40 needed and was confirmed by Williams almost immediately after the chequered flag fell in Abu Dhabi.

This season he’s refusing to lay out any set numbers in terms of goals, saying the only one is to improve with each race weekend.

“There’s definitely no point putting a numerical position on it,” he said.

“I think, at the end of the day, I need to come into the season willing to learn as much as I can, be open, be adaptable, and ultimately, that’s how I’m going to eventually get the most performance I can out of the car.

“Obviously, ideally [I want] to be on top of it as soon as possible, if not immediately, and go from there. I don’t want to put a date on it or anything. I’m fast-tracking as much as I can.”

Facing pressure to perform from the outside, Sargeant is not putting additional scrutiny on his own shoulders with a long season ahead.

“To be honest, in Formula 1 you are expected to perform at your best week after week,” he added.

“So with 23 races, the pressure should be exactly the same. So I’m not really putting any extra pressure on myself in these races.”

A good time to be an American on the F1 grid

The first American on the grid since Alexander Rossi in 2015, Sargeant couldn’t have asked for a better time to make his F1 debut.

Not only is the sport’s popularity in America on the rise, but this season there will be three races in the United States – including a true ‘home’ race in Miami for Florida’s own Formula 1 driver.

“To come into the sport and have three grands prix in my first season is pretty special, and something I’m going to really enjoy,” said Sargeant.

“The amount of people that are asking me questions who are curious about the sport is massive. And that’s such a positive.

“And with the trajectory it’s on, I don’t see it really stopping to be honest. I think that’s a huge plus and something I’m excited to see where it heads.”