Williams’ junior Logan Sargeant is stepping up to the Formula 1 workforce this season and can be Alex Albon’s new companion sooner than deliberate. Because the American was initially supposed to take part in Formula 2 for 2 seasons.
“We had a two-year plan with Logan in Formula 2,” Sven Smits, Williams’ sporting director, instructed Motorsport.com. “I believe that is how everybody begins.
“When the season began, particularly at Silverstone and the races after that, we noticed the potential with him with out having to spend two seasons in Formula 2,” Smets mentioned. In his first 12 months in Formula 2, Sargent took two wins and completed fourth in the championship.
He was being mentioned as a doable candidate for the Williams sales space earlier than the summer time break. His dominant win at Silverstone then tipped the scales.
“We did not inform him, ‘You have to win or end second in Formula 2.’ It was about his success in Formula 2, his lap velocity and the way he was growing,” explains Smets.
“It was additionally about how he was growing in simulation periods, coaching periods for us (rookies; editor’s be aware), media coaching. All this led us to settle for him as one in all them in the summer time. our candidates,” he explains the decision-making course of.
(*2*) victory raised the primary spark
Initially, Williams held talks with Alpine to convey its junior driver Oscar Piastri on mortgage for the 12 months. But the Australian moved to McLaren after a fallout with Alpine, which finally had to be resolved by Formula 1’s contract approval committee.
Finally, on the US Grand Prix in Austin, then-Williams boss Jost Capito introduced that Sargeant would drive for the workforce in 2023 if he was granted an excellent licence. He scored the ultimate factors for this in the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
Sargeant, who replaces Nicolas Latifi, who left Williams after three years, would be the first full-time American on the line since Scott Speed in 2007.
Smiths hopes the rookie can replicate the “quick steps” he made in Formula 2 in his first Formula 1 season, however admits there are some “troublesome moments” widespread to each new driver.
“There’s not a lot room for error in early-season circuits like Saudi Arabia or Australia,” says Smets. “He has a three-day check to discover out the boundaries of a Formula 1 automotive, he’ll solely do half of it, after which he’ll go straight into the race.”
Smeets warns: Don’t anticipate an excessive amount of at first
“You cannot say I’m going to drive just a few thousand kilometers to see how far I can go in these vehicles. We know that is going to be a part of the training course of.”
Although Sargent’s team-mate Alex Albon could be a pure benchmark for him, the Williams sporting director mentioned it will not be truthful to anticipate the promoted Formula 2 driver to compete on the identical degree instantly.
“When the automotive is the place we wish it, the very first thing is to check your teammate. If you might be in a place to battle for factors, then the whole lot is nice. But we won’t simply say it in Bahrain: you’ve to beat Alex.”
“I do not suppose it will be particularly reasonable to him. But sure, that is the aim: to make progress and use this season to be taught after which be full by 2024.”