Logan Sargeant, Williams Academy Driver, Interlagos, 2022

Williams acknowledge “pressure” on Sargeant to secure F1 superlicence

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In the round-up: Williams admit junior driver Logan Sargeant has some pressure on him to secure his Formula 1 superlicence this weekend so he can race in the series next year.

In brief

Williams putting the pressure on Sargeant

Should Sargeant have a trouble-free practice outing at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this Friday, he will need to score 12 points in the final Formula 2 round this weekend to guarantee himself seventh place in the championship standings and therefore qualify for the FIA superlicence need to secure his place on the 2023 Formula 1 grid with Williams.

There are multiple outcomes where a points-free weekend will actually be enough for Sargeant to achieve what is being asked of him by Williams, but a haul of 12 points is enough in all eventualities. He has only managed that four times in 13 rounds so far, but currently lies third in the standings.

“I think it’s a difficult situation for him because he has to – we put a lot of pressure on him,” Williams’ technical director Francois-Xavier Demaison said last week.

“He has to get his licence, so it’s difficult to judge him on [his] FP1 because the only target is for him to reach 100km and score points. I don’t think it’s really fair to to judge him on this and we’ll have to wait for maybe the next test in Abu Dhabi where he could drive and not having this big pressure on him.

“But I think he’s a fast driver, he’s not stupid, so I’m quite sure we can do something with him in the future.”

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O’Sullivan joins Prema in F3

O’Sullivan tested an Aston Martin at Silverstone last month
Williams junior Zak O’Sullivan will move to the crack Prema team for his second season in FIA Formula 3.

O’Sullivan had aimed to step straight up to Formula 2 after finishing 11th in his rookie F3 season with Carlin, but missed out on the seat he was targeting and instead signed with Prema after driving for the team in post-season testing.

“It will be a new environment for me, but Prema’s history says all we need to know, so hopefully, we can have a good year together,” he said.

The 17-year-old British-Irish driver started his car racing career three years ago in Ginetta Junior, then moved up to British Formula 4. In both he was championship runner-up, then in 2021 he won the GB3 title and a prize F1 test with Aston Martin.

F4 champion Dunne leads Abu Dhabi GP support race entry list

The Abu Dhabi GP will be supported by races for F4 cars, and 2022 British F4 champion Alex Dunne is the highest profile on the provisional entry list.

He will drive for Hitech, who are running their 2023 British F4 line-up as Dunne’s team mates, then Carlin has Costa Toparis and Louis Sharp, who finished fourth with the team in British F4 this year.

There are two local teams in Xcel Motorsport and Yas Heat Academy, running three and two cars each, and with no sign of Prema taking part so far it means there will likely be a grid of 11 drivers this weekend.

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Comment of the day

Red Bull are not expecting design convergence between teams next year, despite the team creating a car that has set an example to the rest on how to nail the new technical regulations and already set design trends others have picked up on.

It’s a tough call though. Coming up with some unique is an absolutely huge risk but it’s also the only way to have the fastest car. If you copy the 2022 Red Bull, you’ll have to find a way to beat the 2023 Red Bull…

All the teams would have to learn how to optimise the design and how to set it up well whilst Red Bull would be able to start straight away with updates and improvements. I could see McLaren trying something interesting to see if they can move into that top group that fight for wins and I think Mercedes and Ferrari will continue developing their own ideas – the rest will likely start to look more like the Red Bull as they have a lot less to lose.

You can also clearly see that Mercedes are still bringing updates late into the season whilst some other teams have completely stopped and are presumably working primarily on the 2023 car. There’s no point in bringing updates to the final few races unless they’re going to teach you something useful for the 2023 car. That makes me think Mercedes will be developing what they have rather than completely redesigning the whole thing.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Mujahid Rahman!

On this day in motorsport

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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2 comments on “Williams acknowledge “pressure” on Sargeant to secure F1 superlicence”

  1. Unbelievable that the new McLaren wind tunnel has been delayed again. You can delay once, you can delay twice.. but they keep delaying it. It should had been finished over a year ago. Very bad planning.

  2. Now that Mick is in the driver market, Williams can choose him as a stop-gap solution for a season if Sargeant fails to reach SL-eligibility.

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