Four drivers in ‘significant peril’ to keep F1 seats with new Williams line-up rumoured

Michelle Foster
Logan Sargeant or Kimi Antonelli for the Williams seat?

Logan Sargeant or Kimi Antonelli for the Williams seat?

Logan Sargeant could reportedly lose his Williams race seat as ‘early as the second half of the season’ with Fox Sports reporting Andrea Kimi Antonelli ‘could get the nod to take over’ at the Italian Grand Prix.

Arriving in Formula 1 last season, Williams junior Sargeant had a difficult time adapting as he scored just one point to his team-mate Alex Albon’s 27.

‘Whispers are growing stronger that he could lose Williams seat…’

Chasing his team-mate in every stat but crashes, pundits suggested Sargeant was out of his depth and it’s a theme that’s continued this season.

Although neither Williams driver is off the mark, Albon has two P11s to put the team first of the non-scorers. Sargeant’s best result has been a 14th place.

Throw in team boss James Vowles making it clear Albon is Williams’ preferred driver when he gave the Thai-British racer Sargeant’s chassis in Australia, and all the signs are pointing to a short F1 career for the American.

So short it could even be over just after the summer break.

According to Fox Sports Australia, four drivers are in ‘significant peril’ of not seeing the 2025 grid, including Zhou Guanyu, Valtteri Bottas and Kevin Magnussen, but it is Sargeant who is the ‘most at risk’.

So much so he may not even see out the end of this season.

Losing to Albon last year in every qualifying session, Sprint and Grand Prix, ‘things have barely improved this year.

‘His qualifying deficit is a still enormous 0.485 seconds — although that’s only 0.05 seconds worse than Lance Stroll’s gap to Fernando Alonso — and he’s still yet to beat his teammate in any competitive session.

‘He was told at the start of the year he’d have to be the surprise of the season to keep his seat. Whispers are growing stronger that he could lose his seat as early as the second half of the season.

‘If he were to be axed early, the prevailing rumour is that Mercedes junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli could get the nod to take over.

‘Antonelli will be 18 years old — the minimum age to enter F1 — on the Sunday of the Dutch Grand Prix, the first race after the mid-season break. That could suggest a debut at his home Italian Grand Prix the following weekend.’

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Kimi Antonelli is said to be Toto Wolff’s preferred choice to replace the Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton next season, however, the Italian has no F1 experience.

Ideally, Mercedes would like to blood him at engine customer Williams before putting him in the Mercedes alongside George Russell.

Nine races this year in the Williams would give Wolff a better idea as to whether Antonelli can take on a full-time Mercedes F1 role in 2025 or if he needs a season with Williams.

Williams, though, have downplayed the Sargeant rumours.

The team told GPBlog: “We have an exciting driver line-up and our focus is on the year ahead. We always have an eye on the future, but our focus is on delivering maximum success in 2024.”

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