Williams team principal James Vowles has revealed he has told Logan Sargeant “you have to earn your place” on the grid next year.
The Williams rookie has largely been outshone by team-mate Alex Albon so far this year, with the American yet to get on the board with his first Formula 1 points this season.
He earned his first Q3 appearance at Zandvoort last weekend, but crashes in qualifying and the race halted his chances of scoring his first top-10 finish in the sport, with plenty of interest in his seat from those not currently in Formula 1.
Logan Sargeant told to ‘keep stepping it up’ at Williams
Sargeant is one of just four drivers without a contract for the 2024 season now, with both Mercedes drivers having announced both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will be staying on until 2025 in the run-up to the Italian Grand Prix weekend.
Vowles was a key figure behind Mercedes’ success for a long time before taking on the reins as team principal at Williams for the start of this year – his first time in this position in Formula 1 – and it also puts him in the position of having to assess his options for next year.
Sargeant came through Williams’ junior system to take a seat with the team this year, and the team boss believes he is on the “right path” as it stands.
“Alex is here for the long term, I can tell you that already,” Vowles said to Sky Sports F1 on Friday when asked about his drivers.
“In terms of where Logan is, he’s on the right path to developing, he has to just keep stepping it up race on race – but it’s more about working with him, as we did with George [Russell] back then, less so about contracts in those circumstances.”
When referencing Sargeant, that led to a natural follow-up about whether that meant he is likely to stay on for another season.
Vowles was somewhat non-committal regarding his future for now, revealing what he has said to his young driver to try and motivate him in the second half of the season.
“The comment I’ve given him is this: It’s a meritocracy. You’re not here just because we want you to be here. You have to earn your place,” Vowles explained.
“This is the pinnacle of motorsport, and what I’m asking for you is follow this general guidance, follow this development path, keep moving forward relative to Alex and there’s a place for you here with your name on it.
“Before then, there’s points with your name on it. Some were available at Zandvoort if everything went perfectly, there are this weekend as well.
“Earn those, and it’s how you earn, basically, your pathway into Formula 1.”