Williams tease more driver news ‘in next few weeks’ with Logan Sargeant at ‘risk’ of axe

Oliver Harden
Logan Sargeant faces the media in the pre-Miami GP press conference

Williams have confirmed that Logan Sargeant is at risk of losing his seat

James Vowles has warned Logan Sargeant that he is “at risk” of losing his Williams seat, with the team aiming to finalise their F1 2025 driver line-up within weeks.

Williams announced ahead of this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix that lead driver Alex Albon had committed his future to the team by signing a new multi-year contract.

Williams set to replace Logan Sargeant?

However, Sargeant is under pressure to justify his place in the team having struggled to match his team-mate since arriving on the grid in F1 2023.

We revealed during the recent Miami Grand Prix that the FIA has received a special dispensation request to allow Mercedes junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli to race in F1 ahead of his 18th birthday – the minimum age for drivers to compete in grand prix racing – in August.

That news came amid rumours that Mercedes could seek to place Antonelli at Williams during F1 2024 with a view to promoting him as the successor to Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton next season.

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Williams have also been linked with moves for Alpine star Pierre Gasly, Sauber driver Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz, the driver Hamilton will replace at Ferrari in F1 2025.

Speaking to Sky F1 following the opening practice session at Imola, Vowles confirmed that Sargeant is at risk of losing his seat with Williams engaged in negotiations with a number of drivers.

And he revealed that he is aiming to reach a decision on Albon’s team-mate over the next few weeks.

He said: “We’ve had a direct conversation [with Sargeant], which is a very hard conversation when you do it.

“The simple matter of fact is that he is at risk. That’s the simple matter of fact behind it.

“He has to perform above where he is, this is a meritocracy. I’m helping him on that journey. I want him to be successful.

“But in the meantime, we are talking to a few other drivers because we have to get our 2025/26/27 lineup correct.

“In a few weeks, you’ll see some potential news in that area.”

Put to him that Williams could drop Sargeant before the F1 2024 season is out, Vowles responded: “You’re coming to a conclusion that’s not quite there. That’s not what we’re saying.

“What I’m talking about is 2025/26 drivers. Nothing about this season.

“What I’m talking about is: how do we create the right foundations going forward on things?

“In a few weeks, when we’re signing, it will be me ready to say to the world: ‘This is where we are.’

“And part of it is out of respect to Logan. I’ve given him an opportunity and these [areas] are where he has to step up.”

Vowles insisted that Sargeant – who was controversially withdrawn from this season’s Australian Grand Prix after Williams decided to give his car to Albon following a crash in practice – still has the power to retain his seat.

But he stressed the need for the 23-year-old to improve quickly.

Vowles said: “As I’ve explained to him, the control is within his hands and there are absolutely things he can be doing in order to create an environment for him where he continues within Formula 1.

“It’s not that the decision is done, it’s not that the door shut.

“That’s the whole point. I believe in having a human conversation and a human conversation is: ‘This is where you are, this is where you need to be and I’ll work with you as much as possible – but you’re in control of that destiny, not myself.’

“That’s how I am fundamentally, it’s how I’ve been throughout my career and whether it was a driver or an engineer or someone within the organisation I feel it’s respectful – if nothing more – to lay out what has to be achieved.”

Put to him by 1996 World Champion Damon Hill that Sargeant is trying too hard, Vowles acknowledged that Williams are toeing a fine line by speaking so openly about dropping Sargeant while simultaneously trying to help him unlock his potential.

He explained: “I do take Damon’s point.

“This is always the fine line you draw: do you create pressure? It is creating pressure on a driver by letting them know that you’re below where you need to be, let’s move up together.

“That will create more pressure. Is that going to result in actually an overdriving?

“I would agree, as well, when you’re not quite there, what do you do to extract more from it?

“It’s difficult, but I still think the right thing to do is the human conversation.

“We’ve had to make sure he knows and we all know as well: here’s how we’re going to move forward together, let’s work together and see what we can achieve.”

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