Fresh F1 2024 plot twist as Mercedes junior placed on Williams ‘wish list’

Jamie Woodhouse
A view from behind of Alex Albon driving the Williams.

A view of Alex Albon's Williams from behind.

Logan Sargeant may not be safe at Williams for F1 2024 just yet as ex-Formula 1 racer Ralf Schumacher believes Frederik Vesti is on their “wish list.”

For much of the F1 2023 campaign, Sargeant’s rookie season, the pressure has been on via speculation that he would not be afforded a second season amid his struggles to match team-mate Alex Albon, as well as some costly accidents.

But just as it seemed that Sargeant had turned the tide to make continuing with Williams for F1 2024 the most likely scenario, Schumacher has thrown Vesti’s name into the mix as a target for his former team to replace Sargeant.

Frederik Vesti on Williams radar?

Williams team boss James Vowles insists that the decision on Sargeant will still be taken after the season ends, but with Vesti in action for Mercedes during FP1 at the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP, Schumacher reckons the Williams boss will have been keeping a watchful eye on the Danish racer.

“In Las Vegas, I wondered why James Vowles had not yet signed Sargeant to Williams,” Schumacher told Sky Germany.

“This is probably because Frederik Vesti is on his wish list and is watching him closely in Abu Dhabi and is also allowed to view his data in order to possibly make a decision for next year.”

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Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff spoke very highly of Vesti when in conversation with Sky F1, calling their Formula 2 title contender “great” and “reliable”, while he “does a good job” in the simulator.

However, Wolff, a former shareholder at Williams, does not wish to use Mercedes’ status as their engine supplier to try to influence driver decisions at Williams – a standpoint he carried over when swapping Grove for Brackley in early 2013.

“I was at Williams 12 or 13 years ago. What I always wanted with Frank [Williams] was to take our own decision on drivers with no interference from a big brother,” said Wolff.

“That’s why I always respected that we’ve never had a contract which allows us to put a driver in. It’s in James’ authority to decide.”

Vesti was classified FP1 in P12, seven tenths off the session-topping pace of Mercedes team-mate George Russell.

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