Logan Sargeant admits his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Williams has not been smooth sailing, but feels he is on the right path as Mick Schumacher continues to be linked to his seat.
The presence of a first American driver on the Formula 1 grid since 2015 was hailed as a major next step for the series as its popularity continues to surge in the United States, but as it stands, Sargeant’s visit is at risk of being of the flying variety.
The Florida native is yet to score his first point in the series, and already the vultures are circling overhead, the particular threat one called Mick Schumacher.
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher and Sam Cooper
Logan Sargeant sees progress to fight off Mick Schumacher
Spending F1 2023 as Mercedes reserve driver after losing his Haas seat, Schumacher has been linked with Sargeant’s Williams seat in recent months, their team principal, former Mercedes strategy chief James Vowles, representing a very familiar and approachable figure for the Silver Arrows.
But, with Sargeant believing that he is progressing towards the level he wants to operate at, he sees no reason to worry while that trajectory continues.
“Ups and downs,” said Sargeant of his season so far when speaking to media including PlanetF1.com. “Not where I want to be, however over the last few rounds I’m much closer to where I want to be.
“I’ve seen really good progression as of late, and that’s the most important thing. So if I keep building on that all should be good. But definitely ups and downs, tough moments, good ones – I’ve enjoyed every moment I’ve had in the car.
“(I’ve learned) in terms of extracting everything from the car, whether that’s in qualy trim or race trim, just the way the car needs to be driven, starting to drive it like that.
“There’s so many different little things, but all just effectively impacts the end result, so moving towards that step by step in many different ways.
“There were points in the year where I was simply holding the brake too late into the corners and slowing the minimum speed too much, I’ve gotten on top of that. Just inputs in high-speed corners causing instabilities, things like that, there’s countless things I can continue on.
“It’s all just very minor driving traits that needed to be adjusted – peak of brakes – a load of things just to suit the car better that didn’t really affect the balance of a car in Formula 2, and with how sensitive these cars are, these small differences make quite a significant difference.”
Logan Sargeant discusses impact of Williams upgrades
Sargeant’s team-mate Alex Albon demonstrated the efficiency of an upgrade package for the FW45 debuted in Canada, for him only, as he went on score a best-ever finish with the team of P7.
Sargeant then received the upgrades at the following round in Austria, with the next stage arriving at Silverstone, but while Albon has turned that work into 10 points, Sargeant is yet to score.
The 22-year-old then would lift the lid on how those upgrades have altered the FW45 to his mind, explaining that while downforce has been added, the aforementioned driving traits which he needed to address still apply.
“It didn’t change the way that the car is driven very much,” said Sargeant. “All it did is bring more downforce, more load, and make it slightly easier to drive, which has been nice.
“It didn’t change the world, it just went quicker, which is good. So in terms of a driving point of view it still required the same things, which is good and consistent for drivers as you get upgrades throughout the year, so in that sense if anything it just helped aid some of those instabilities.”
Williams sit P7 in the current Constructors’ Championship standings, tied on 11 points with Haas a position behind.