Rule change means Williams can test in Abu Dhabi

Jon Wilde
Logan Sargeant removes his earpiece. Le Mans August 2021.

Logan Sargeant removes his earpiece at the Michelin Le Mans Cup. Le Mans August 2021.

Williams will run their new academy driver Logan Sargeant at the post-season test in Abu Dhabi following a tweak to the sporting regulations.

Sargeant is a 20-year-old American who joined the Williams academy in October and has competed in Formula 3 since 2019, winning three races and finishing third in last year’s championship and seventh in this season’s standings.

He recently stepped up to Formula 2 with the HWA Racelab team and finished 14th in the Jeddah feature race.

Now Sargeant is set for his F1 testing debut at Yas Marina with Williams having gained FIA approval to do so – a caveat that was written into the sporting regulations to facilitate it.

This was required because a stipulation of the test was that teams had to provide a ‘mule’ car able to accommodate the new 18-inch wheels for next season, such as those that trialled the 2022 Pirelli tyres throughout this year.

However, Williams did not take part in those tyre tests as they decided against building a ‘mule’ car, so Sargeant will participate on the one day at Yas Marina when a 2021 car can be run with a driver at the wheel who has participated in no more than two grands prix.

Approval was given unanimously, report The Race, by the other nine teams, the F1 Commission and the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

On both days of the test, teams can also field the ‘mule’ car and on one of those days, the sporting regulations state the driver must have competed in at least one race of this year’s World Championship.

However, Ferrari have gained official approval to run Robert Shwartzman and Antonio Fuoco – with the former also taking part for Haas on the other day of the test.


Sargeant, who is from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, said of his F1 test debut opportunity: “I can’t wait for my first run in a Formula 1 car and want to thank the team for trusting me with this amazing opportunity.

“I’ve been spending time in the factory at Grove and getting to grips with the simulator, which has helped me to get an initial feel for the characteristics of the FW43B. But to be able to get out on track will be an incredible experience and one I won’t forget.

“I’ll be going into the test looking to perform the best I can and to learn as much as possible from the team.”