United States Grand Prix – Logan Sargeant will join Alex Albon at Williams next season provided he picks up enough Super Licence points in the coming weeks.
In yesterday’s Team Principals’ Press Conference Williams boss, Jost Capito, who was a last minute replacement for an unwell Mattia Binotto, revealed that if the young American manages to rack up enough Super Licence points by the end of the season then he will be joining the grid for next year.
“We feel he’s ready to race,” Capito said, “and, under the condition that he has enough Super Licence points after Abu Dhabi, he will be our second driver next year.
“He had one season in Formula 2, and I’m a fan as getting young drivers as quick through as possible into Formula 1 because the series, the cars, compared to Formula 1 cars, lack tracks, so get him in as soon as possible and find out if he’s capable to stay in Formula 1 long-term – which we believe he is.
“His first year in F2, and he won races, and he has been qualifying very strong, all the years in his career, so we believe he’s absolutely ready to get into Formula 1.”
To help him with the points, Sargeant will be back in the car again in Mexico and Abu Dhabi, as each FP1 session grants the driver one point as long as they complete at least 100km. The American currently has 27 points for finishing 3rd and 7th in the F3 Championship in the past two years, and is currently sitting third in the F2 standings with only the Abu Dhabi round to go.
So to qualify for the seat, as long as he ticks off the required distance in the practices and picks up the two “good behaviour” points for not picking up and penalty points over the season, the 21 year old would only need to finish seventh in the championship to make it all work.
Sargeant had his first experience of the current F1 car in FP1 at the Circuit of the Americas on Friday, and the Floridian impressed the team while also thoroughly enjoying himself.
“It was one of the most enjoyable moments of my career so far,” Sargeant said after the session. “I’m very grateful to be given further time in the FW44 in Mexico and Abu Dhabi.
“My aim is to make the most of every minute in the car and with the team to build on the progress I’ve made in Austin and throughout my time on the simulator at Grove. Of course, my focus is on finishing my Formula 2 season in Abu Dhabi in the best position possible, and I’m sure my time in the FW44 will keep me sharp and ready for the F2 finale.”
Williams’ Sporting Director, Sven Smeets, added that “Logan showed a high level of understanding during his FP1 debut in Austin and provided useful feedback to help in the team’s preparations for the rest of the weekend.
“We are providing Logan further opportunities in Mexico and Abu Dhabi to integrate himself with the team trackside in both Free Practice sessions and the Young Driver Test as we work hard to support Logan in his efforts towards earning the FIA Super Licence. We’re looking forward to seeing how Logan progresses this season and finishes out his last race of the season in Formula 2.”