‘Not sure has the staying power’ – More Logan Sargeant doubts emerge with US dream fading

Michelle Foster
Logan Sargeant faces the media at the 2024 Japanese GP with a prominent Williams logo alongside him

Logan Sargeant and the Williams logo

Despite having three Grands Prix on the calendar, America needs an American driver to get behind and Danica Patrick doesn’t believe Logan Sargeant is the man for the job.

Sargeant made his Formula 1 debut last season with Williams but it wasn’t long before rumours began to do the rounds that his days were numbered.

Danica Patrick ponders Logan Sargeant’s ‘staying power with what’s going on’

Falling well short of the benchmark set by Alex Albon, Sargeant was whitewashed in qualifying and finished the season with one point to his team-mate’s 27.

Despite his troubles, which included several big crashes, the American was retained for this year’s championship but again the whispers have begun.

Although he out-qualified Albon for the first time for the Sprint at the Miami Grand Prix, his first of three home races, it was business as usual in qualifying where Sargeant was behind his team-mate having failed to make it out of Q1.

He’s also yet to score a point with a best result of P14. Albon too hasn’t managed to get off the mark but he had two near misses with P11 finishes to put Williams P9 in the Constructors’ Championship.

Former IndyCar and NASCAR driver Patrick doesn’t believe Sargeant is the driver who can inspire American fans.

“I can say that a driver that’s an American and finishing better would be a positive, it would be more storylines,” said the Sky Sports pundit. “I don’t think they have to win but much more competitive and getting points.

“I’m not sure that Logan really has staying power with what’s going on. I think it’ll be somebody else. Andretti getting a team could definitely help.

“Although there are plenty of American fans that love Sergio and Lando and Max and there’s still tonnes of people that love these drivers that aren’t American.

“But what it would do is it would ramp up the marketing and the media exposure here in America, which would just add another layer of exposure, and of course, draw more fans in.”

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Jenson Button convinced Logan Sargeant won’t be dropped this year

As Sargeant put in the laps in Miami, it was revealed that one unnamed team – said to be Williams – had asked the FIA for dispensation to allow Mercedes junior Kimi Antonelli to race before his 18th birthday. Even as early as this weekend’s Imola race.

Mercedes denied they’d made the request with all eyes turning to Williams with Miami speculated to be Sargeant’s final race for the Grove team.

However, 2009 World Champion Jenson Button, an ambassador for Williams, believes the American will remain in the car for the rest of the season.

What happens next year though, could depend largely on Williams’ season moving in the right direction.

“No, I don’t,” Button told Sky Sports when asked if he believed the Sargeant rumours. “I think Logan will be here for the rest of the year.

“Obviously, we all would love to see Logan being more competitive. The package needs to be better, Williams understand that.

“They need to improve and they’ve been going through a big change over the last couple of years and we haven’t seen the performances I think they really deserve this year.

“It spirals when you have one issue like a big shunt with a car – it does spiral out of control quite quickly in the sport.

“Great leadership with James Vowles, really, really impressed with him as a team principal, and they will turn it around. It just takes time and hopefully quick enough for Logan to really prove himself before the end of this year.”

Logan Sargeant quizzed on Williams guarantee

As for Sargeant, he told the media in Miami: “I just do my job the best I can. I mean, in FP1 [in Miami] I felt more comfortable than I did earlier in the year and I felt like I was on top straight away.

“And when I look [at the races] since Australia, I feel like I’m doing relatively well in terms of speed. In Japan, I got almost everything out of it. Of course, China was disappointing, but here I feel like I did well again.

“I’m just looking for that last tenth of a second. I’m enjoying it anyway and I’ll keep doing my best.”

Asked if the rumours were a distraction, he replied: “I wouldn’t say that, no. I’ve spoken to James internally. I’ve spoken to my managers.”

Pressed on whether he had been guaranteed by Williams that he’d stay in the car, he said: “Those are all internal conversations.”

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