Just a couple of years ago, Logan Sargeant believed that the chance he has now to race with Williams in Formula 1 was off the table.
Skip back a short distance to 2021, and Sargeant was struggling to build on his title challenge in the 2020 Formula 3 Championship, this time around managing only P7 in the final standings. He also appeared in the European Le Mans series and the Le Mans Cup that year.
In October of 2021 though it was announced that Sargeant had been signed by the Williams Driver Academy, with a remarkable career turnaround following as he finished P4 in the 2022 Formula 2 Championship, picking up two wins along the way and convincing Williams to promote him to a race seat in F1 for 2023.
The American racer has come a long way then from the point where he thought his chances of being an F1 driver were “dead”.
“I was 100% sure it was dead at that point [in 2021], to be honest,” he told reporters at Williams’ FW45 livery launch.
“At that point I just thought, ‘okay, it’s going to be heading towards the LMP or IndyCar route’. Which at the time I was content with.
“It was just my reality at the time, that’s where I felt like was my only two places I could still turn to. The F3 seat was just simply to pass some time and stay in a car and help a team move forward, a different position for myself. The LMP2 races, GT race, was just again a bit of fun and get a bit of experience in endurance and sports car racing.
“To be honest I feel like in the end it was all extremely beneficial and helped me massively and so I’m glad I did it all.”
Williams Driver Academy: Which promising young drivers have Williams recruited?
Guenther Steiner wants US driver Logan Sargeant at ‘the American team’ Haas
Exclusive: General Motors confirm FIA entry bid, believe their team ‘will heighten enthusiasm for F1 racing, globally’
Now Logan Sargeant must take care of his reality
It truly is an amazing achievement for any driver to make that breakthrough and be able to call themselves a Formula 1 racer, but in many ways, it is a case of the hard work starts now.
With only 20 seats in the series, the FIA hoping to see this expand in the coming seasons, competition for a spot is extremely fierce, and so the pressure is on from the start for rookie Sargeant to convince Williams that he deserves more than a one-year stay.
His benchmark is certainly not an easy one, Alex Albon having impressed in 2022 – his first season with Williams as he returned to the sport – so if Sargeant can take the fight to him, then he will be making a very positive impression indeed.
But, consistent struggles to contend with the Thai driver could leave Sargeant questioning the health status of his F1 dream once more.