Williams junior driver to get a first practice run in the US Grand Prix

Williams junior driver to get a first practice run in the US Grand Prix

Logan Sargeant, a member of the Williams Academy, will make his F1 debut in Austin, where he will participate in Friday’s opening practice, in October.

21-year-old American, Logan Sargeant will make his Formula One weekend debut in Williams’ car during free practice at the US Grand Prix in October. In order to aid Williams’ preparations for their race at The Circuit of the Americas, Sargeant will take over Nicholas Latifi’s FW44 during FP1.

Sargeant, who has won twice with Carlin in the FIA Formula 2 Championship this season, is presently third in the standings, after Felipe Drugovich of MP Motorsport and Theo Pourchaire of ART. Additionally, the F1 drive offer may be more meaningful now than it could have been a week ago given the most recent shocks to the 2023 F1 driver market.

Sargeant is ecstatic to have the chance and acknowledges that doing this on home soil makes it extra special for him.

“I’m super excited to be given this opportunity to drive my first Free Practice in Austin,” said Sargeant, who tested with Williams last December in Abu Dhabi. “To be given the chance at the US Grand Prix is something extremely special to me.”

“A massive thank you to Williams for putting the trust and belief in me to do a good job.”

“The goal for me will be to learn as much as possible in the new generation of cars. I’m looking forward to making the most of this experience and really enjoying it.”

Williams’ Sporting Director, Sven Smeets, said that the team believed it appropriate to “reward” Sargeant for his outstanding results in Formula 2.

“Logan has demonstrated a great level of ability and maturity so far this season through his accomplishments both on and off the track,” Smeets explained. “He’s delivered race winning performances in Formula 2 matched by his hard work during simulator sessions. It felt only right to reward these achievements with the opportunity for him to take part in a Free Practice session at Austin.

“We’re looking forward to seeing him get behind the wheel of the FW44 and seeing how his performance and feedback help the team’s preparations for the race in Austin.”

Prior to 2022, he was accepted into Williams’ young driver academy program, and at the end of the previous year, he participated in the post-Abu Dhabi GP test driving the team’s 2021 vehicle.

Sargeant was in the running for a racing seat in 2023, according to team principal Jost Capito, who previously said it may be a “big headache” for Williams’ 2023 F1 driver ambitions if he went on to win the F2 championship.

Sargeant, however, remained a long shot at the time of Capito’s comments because it was anticipated that Williams would keep Alex Albon and replace Nicholas Latifi by signing Oscar Piastri on a loan from Alpine.

“For example, he needs the superlicence points… and for that he has to finish in the top five in the championship. In the moment, it looks good,” Capito said. “But you know, you can always get the other way pretty quickly. So it’s quite tricky to take early decisions on something on a F2 driver as long as the season is not over.”

“So that’s part of the decision making, of course.”

Following the recent driver shakeups for 2023 the team has gotten in the mix of the implications. Albon is on loan from Red Bull, and Williams has apparently said it has the legal right to keep him, although he is reportedly considering other opportunities. He may have already spoken to someone about the Alpine job opening.

The likelihood of the long-anticipated Piastri/Williams deal happening has also decreased as a result of developments at Alpine, both because Alpine now views Piastri as its answer to the loss of Alonso and because it is believed that Piastri’s management is instead attempting to get him into McLaren in place of the struggling Daniel Ricciardo.

Therefore, if Williams loses Albon and doesn’t win Piastri, Sargeant’s chances of winning a seat in 2023 suddenly become quite likely. Although he does not currently possess a superlicense, his current F2 form puts him in the running to obtain one.

Latifi’s time with the team is believed to have come to an end after 2022, but given his recent improvement, Williams may now be more open to the idea of retaining him on as a backup option if Albon leaves.

Therefore, one probable result of the unstable driver market position the past six days have created is a Latifi/Sargeant 2023 line-up at Williams.

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