Williams’ Logan Sargeant believes he would be in a much better position in his career if he had access to more testing time behind the wheel.
The American driver stepped up to Formula 1 with Williams for 2023, having raced in Formula 2 last season as part of Williams’ Driver Academy.
But Sargeant has struggled for form and consistency throughout the season. Although there have been flashes of promise and potential on occasion, the pressure mounting on Sargeant to retain his seat for next year has resulted in quite a few mistakes behind the wheel.
Logan Sargeant: A different experience today to the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso’s debut
Sargeant believes that, if he had access to more testing time driving the current car, as drivers in the past had access to, he would be having a much stronger time.
Sargeant is one of several drivers to make his debut this year. He, Oscar Piastri, and Nyck de Vries all landed their first full-time F1 race seats for 2023, but De Vries was out by mid-season as a result of his lack of competitiveness.
Piastri has hit the ground running with McLaren as a capable match for Lando Norris, while mid-season substitute Liam Lawson also impressed during his time replacing the injured Daniel Ricciardo.
With rookies thrown in at the deep end nowadays, Sargeant believes unfettered access to testing in current machinery like World Champions Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso had in their debut years – in 2007, and 2001, respectively – would result in inexperienced drivers finding their feet more quickly.
‘Ideally, I’d be more tested, as it’s the best way to prepare,” Sargeant said, as quoted by Spanish publication Marca.
“When Hamilton and Alonso arrived in Formula 1, they had countless days of testing in the car that year, something that is very different from what we have to experience today.
“Now, whenever you do a test, it is a previous generation [car] and that makes the difference.
“Although even if it was the previous generation (the car used in the tests), the simple fact of having more days (in general) would have been better.”
Sargeant withdrew from the Qatar Grand Prix as he was one of several drivers to fall foul of the extreme heat conditions that caused vomiting and nausea for others on the grid, while recent mistakes in Japan, Singapore, and the Netherlands have amplified the stress he’s currently under.
Williams have indicated their support and desire for him to continue, and Sargeant says he intends to learn from his errors and convince the team to re-sign him.
“Experience always helps, but I have people to talk to to try to understand how to deal with things and why these little mistakes happen and how to get rid of them,” he said.
This weekend marks another home race for the American driver as F1 returns to the Circuit of the Americas – the circuit at which Sargeant made his ‘F1 debut’ as he took part in Friday practice with the Grove-based team.