It’s not been the easiest time lately for F1’s lone American, Logan Sargeant, who’s under constant pressure to deliver with a Williams team that is no longer languishing at the bottom of the standings.
For those eagle-eyed amongst you, you may have realised already that with Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo confirmed at AlphaTauri through 2024, it means the second Williams seat is the last one left unconfirmed for next year, with rumours regarding a potential hijacking from the previous year’s F2 champion Felipe Drugovich, as well as murmurs about a loan for Liam Lawson, or (admittedly quieter) ones about Mercedes reserve Mick Schumacher.
It’s been a hard time for Sargeant recently though, with self-inflicted crashes at Zandvoort, Singapore and most recently in Japan that ruined his weekend with a pitlane start and 10-second time penalty.
In the latest episode of Williams’ show The Vowles Verdict, team principal James Vowles has clarified that the team want Sargeant to stick around for next year.
“Logan has very clear targets of what he has to hit before the end of the season, and we are working with him continuously,” Vowles said. “And that’s the important point, we are working with him. We want him to succeed, and we want him in the car next year.
“This is very much on us as well. We have taken someone straight from F2, without any significant testing, put him a day and a half in Bahrain in this car, and then wished them well on a season that has been awfully challenging for rookies, full stop.
“He is on a journey with us as Williams, we have a young driver programme that we will continue to invest in. And only at the point where all of us come to the conclusion that we have reached the end of that road will we make any decisions, but we are nowhere near that yet.”
It’s an honest acknowledgement of the challenges that Williams has had with Sargeant. But with just five races left in 2023, and everyone else knowing who’s driving their cars next year, you have to wonder just how confident Vowles is in his driver…
Should Williams keep Sargeant for next year? And if not, who should replace him?