Williams hint at imminent announcement of Sargeant’s promotion to F1

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In the round-up: Williams team principal Jost Capito hinted Logan Sargeant could be announced as their new driver for the 2023 Formula 1 season today.

In brief

Williams driver announcement rumoured

Speaking to fans on Friday, Capito responded to a question about when F1 might next have an American driver by saying: “Follow the news and you might see something on Saturday.”

Williams was bought by US firm Dorilton in 2020 and the team has already indicated Nicholas Latifi will not be retained next year. Previous candidates for the seat, Oscar Piastri and Nyck de Vries, have been signed by rivals.

Sargeant lies third in Formula 2 with one round remaining and is poised to reach the 40 points required for an F1 superlicence, and made a successful appearance for the team in first practice yesterday. He became a Williams junior driver one year ago today and tested for the team at the end of last season. He said his first experience of driving a 2022 F1 car in was “very different” to what he expected.

Sargeant looks set for promotion
“I think the main goal coming into the day was just to learn as much as possible and I feel like I did pick up on a lot,” said Sargeant. “It’s very different to what I honestly expected, but in a good way. A lot of potential to still pick up on and improve on. But I think it was a good start and I’m happy with how it went.”

He said his priority is to ensure he ends the season with sufficient superlicence points to be ableto graduate to F1. “I need to have a good Abu Dhabi to secure my superlicence,” he said. “That’s the main focus at the moment, to go out there and have a good round and solidify myself in the top two in the championship.”

Sainz prefers second race win to fourth in the standings

Carlos Sainz Jnr has admitted he would prefer to win a second race before the end of the 2022 season rather than secure fourth place in the drivers’ championship ahead of George Russell.

The Ferrari driver took his first grand prix victory at Silverstone earlier in the season, but currently sits fifth in the drivers’ championship on 202 points, five behind Mercedes driver Russell. With only four races remaining in the championship, Sainz says where he finishes in the standings is irrelevant to him.

“Fifth, fourth – it doesn’t change my life as a racing driver,” said Sainz. “I only care about obviously winning and having a good season.

“If I can finish fourth, I’ll take fourth, but I would prefer to win a race before the end of the year, even if it doesn’t mean I finish fourth. And I think for us it’s important to try and win, to get the podiums, to get the consistency. Obviously this would bring P4 to the table but I’m focusing more on that than on the championship.”

Frost fastest in Indy Lights test

Danial Frost set the fastest time in the Indy Lights Chris Griffis Memorial Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway yesterday.

Frost, who has raced two full seasons in the series, set the best time of a 1’16.253 around the road course at the superspeedway.

W Series champion Jamie Chadwick was the slowest of the 16 drivers in the day’s running, 1.4 seconds off Frost’s pace after hitting the barriers.

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Comment of the day

The FIA’s decision to install Niels Wittich as F1’s race director for the final four races of the season and no longer rotate him with Eduardo Freitas in wake of an investigation into the Japanese Grand Prix led @Red-andy to notice a pattern through the season…

I hadn’t realised that all of the most questionable race direction this season (Monaco, Singapore and Japan) had come at races where Freitas was at the helm. Probably a wise decision to replace him, then.
Red Andy

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Sasquatch and Porschephile!

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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10 comments on “Williams hint at imminent announcement of Sargeant’s promotion to F1”

  1. He receives a single SL point from his FP1 running, but he still needs to claim the remaining by finishing high enough in the F2 standings.
    Announcing an SL-ineligible driver would be unusual, but with a proviso.
    Therefore, Williams can change plans & go for someone else if necessary.
    However, Mick could get announced by Haas by the Abu Dhabi GP, in which case they’d have one fewer option left, but we’ll see.

    COTD: Nothing more than a mere coincidence.

    Also, on this day: the 2017 US GP featuring Max’s infamous corner-cut pass on Kimi that cost him a top-3 finish.

    1. COTD: Nothing more than a mere coincidence.

      Disagree. Freitas has always been overly eager to throw FCY, Safety Cars, and even stop races. You can somewhat excuse this if you consider he is used to officiating races with senior amateurs in fast Ferrari’s, but even then this approach ruined many a WEC race by upending strategic battles and handing huge advantages to certain teams (not intentionally, of course). In F1, with only 20 drivers, in all the same cars, and all of whom are at the top of their game and among the best drivers in the world, this is the wrong approach.

      Anyway, it has always seemed like Freitas was there to bring Wittich up to speed and that F1 never intended to keep rotating them out.

  2. Freitas was probably struggling to forget the slow zones that WEC is far ahead of F1 in implementing.

    1. Indeed, but those need to be enforced, too, and under Freitas’ leadership the Le Mans race last year had one of the worst yellow flag incidents in recent years when amateur driver Tom Cloet plowed into the side of the stricken Sophia Floersch.

  3. Sargeant has never really done too much to impress me. Don’t get me wrong, I think he is an upgrade on Latifi, but I think this class of F2 won’t go down in history as the finest. I think the fact Drugovich absolutely walked it doesn’t say much.

    Yes F2 is a bit random – the star driver can get punted off, reliability issues etc. But I don’t think anyone believes Drugovich is the next ‘big thing’ and yet he’s nearly 100 points ahead in the standings.

    It’s probably mediocracy of this F2 grid that has made Piastri, Colton and O’Ward so coveted.

    1. *mediocrity

    2. The whole championship’s a mediocracy! It’s the drivers going straight from F3 to F1 you’ve got to watch…
      F2’s not fit for purpose – season goes on way too long, no female drivers and champions have years of earphones to look forward to.

      1. @bullfrog Ha! Every time they cut to Nyck de Vries sat slightly behind Toto at the back of the garage with the headsets on I always thought ‘What is this relationship? What is he supposed to be learning? He never looked particularly happy. At least next year he’ll actually have a car.

  4. Sargeant in F1, who would have thought !
    The battle with Piastri in 2020 was enjoying to watch and that Mugello second race really shaped both futures, Logan being out on lap 1 with an unavoidable sandwich when it was all going his way with Piastri having a disappointing weekend.

    He’s had mixed results since, albeit in an inferior car in 2021. This year however he had better machinery but failed to provide a real challenge to Drugovitch who’s just been supreme.

    Based on results and momentum I’d rather give the seat to Drugovitch but Sargeant may prove a very capable driver. Williams is currently no match for McLaren but it would be nice if we get to see Piastri and Sargeant battle again.

  5. I’m not sure why Logan Sargeant deserves to be in F1. He is currently 3rd in the F2 Championship with these Sprint Race/Feature race results:

    SR FR
    6 7
    Ret 12
    6 7
    3 4
    10 9
    6 2
    7 1
    7 1
    8 Ret
    Ret 10
    Ret 5
    8 Ret
    4 Ret

    I’ve watched the season and he’s okay but he’s nothing magic. Is he bringing a lot of sponsporship money with him? Or is it the fact he’s American? Is that very good for Williams’ marketing?

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