Williams team boss James Vowles has praised the flashes of pace that rookie Logan Sargeant has shown at the start of 2023 – but wants more consistency from his driver.
The American is one of just three first-year pilots on the grid this year, and the first full-time US driver since 2007. Sargeant’s F1 career has definitely shown promise in the early stages but has not yet yielded any points.
Despite this, his team principal, James Vowles, has faith that the Williams driver can keep improving.
“Logan is here because he is quick, and he is quick; he can deliver,” said Vowles, via Motorsport.com. “But he has to start by just getting things controlled and delivering cleanly. In both qualifying sessions in Baku, he made it to Q2. That’s the consistency that we are looking for.
“What I’ve already explained to him is, ‘You’re quick enough’. And then, ‘use Q2 to build your experience by almost double from what you’re doing at the moment’. That’s what you’ll start to see him deliver on.”
Logan Sargeant has not yet matched his more experienced Williams teammate in 2023. But Vowles states that this is not surprising for the team.
“I’m not expecting him to be on Alex’s pace,” added the Williams principal. “Also, he’s had a string of races he’s never even been to before.
“But even in Miami, disappointed as he was, there was just three-tenths between him and Alex. It just so happened that there were seven cars. But three-tenths, that’s how close he’s getting now.”
Although Sargeant may have the public backing of the team, the F1 rumour mill is vicious.
Could Williams look to replace Logan Sargeant mid-season?
After just five races of his F1 career, it is arguably unfair that Sargeant is under such scrutiny already. A P12 finish in Bahrain and a Q2 appearance in Azerbaijan suggest that the raw talent is there.
However, incidents such as his sprint shootout crash in Baku, the late-race collision in Australia, and last time out in Miami count against the American. Sargeant is also one of just two drivers on the grid who are yet to score a championship point this season.
Speculation surrounding his F1 seat is circulating as a result.
Reports from Germany claim that Mick Schumacher is waiting in the wings should Williams wish to swap out Logan Sargeant. Per SPORT1, Toto Wolff has vowed to help the Mercedes reserve driver return to the grid permanently.
So, with Sargeant struggling, the Mercedes boss has apparently suggested to Vowles that he should consider Schumacher.
SPORT1 also reports that this European triple-header will be crucial in Williams’ evaluation of Logan Sargeant. Should he have disappointing weekends in Imola, Monaco, and Spain, the American’s seat could really be under threat.
The Grove-based squad is not one to make hasty decisions, though. Williams have not made an in-season permanent driver switch since 2007. Even then, Kazuki Nakajima replaced Alex Wurz for the last round of the 2007 season after Wurz retired from the sport at the penultimate race.
But Formula 1 has changed a lot since then, as has the British team’s personnel. Given the sheer desperation to get immediate results, Logan Sargeant will want to score some points quickly to keep Williams’ support for him.
Featured image credit: Getty