Logan Sargeant, Williams, Suzuka, 2024

Sargeant sure Williams have faith in him despite being benched in Melbourne

Formula 1

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Logan Sargeant says he is sure Williams are confidence in his ability despite the team leaving him without a drive in Australia.

Alexander Albon’s crash on Friday in Melbourne left Williams facing a dilemma as his car couldn’t be repaired in time and no spare was available. They therefore took the unusual decision to withdraw Sargeant from the event and give his car to his team mate, believing Albon offered their best chance to score points. He finished 11th.

Sargeant, who is in his second season as an F1 driver, denied the team’s decision to replace him with Albon showed a lack of faith in him.

“I didn’t have the easiest of years in 2023 and they stuck by my side,” he told the official F1 channel. “I believe I’ve had that support since the end of 2021, and I don’t think it’s gone anywhere.

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“It’s just a difficult situation for everyone involved. A difficult situation for even the mechanics who have to shift the cars all the way across. It’s tough.”

Sargeant will drive for the team this weekend in Albon’s repaired car. He said it’s been “very well patched up” by the team. “The repair went better than expected and it should be exactly identical to what I previously had.”

He admitted he “felt a bit raw” in the days after his missed race but has been pleased with his performance since the season began. “We haven’t had the perfect start to the year but in terms of speed, I’m happy with where I’m at.

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“I just need to carry that into this weekend. For sure having a week off I got to spend it sitting on a beach, but also getting some good training in, seeing things from a different perspective and, come back here feeling actually very fresh and psychologically happy and just ready to get back in the car.”

Williams failed to score at Suzuka last year, where both drivers retired with damage. However Sargeant said their change in car design during the off-season should pay off at the demanding, high-speed circuit.

“It was one of the tracks that we struggled with a little bit with our car last year,” he said. “The philosophy change we made, in particular, this was one of the types of tracks that we’ve been targeting to improve on and it’ll be a test for us. A good challenge.

“At the same time, it’s an absolutely sensational track to drive. So, hopefully we can get the car in a good window.

“There’s definitely some some different options that we’re going to have to explore throughout the weekend and some exciting stuff that that we want to try. Where we’re going to be on pace, probably similar to where we’ve been, but hopefully just find that little bit more than others to put ourselves a bit further up.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “Sargeant sure Williams have faith in him despite being benched in Melbourne”

  1. We believe you Logan. We really do.

    1. So much so that they gave him the refurbished car. That just screams faith and confidence!

      Vowles and Albon are really doubling down on their antics with this. I suppose the consistency is praiseworthy, even if the approach is less so.

      1. they gave him a parts bin last year too. The team has no respect for him, they are just stealing his parents money. Time to move on.

        1. Apparently being in F1 is so cool that people, even in these and other hopeless situations, prefer it over other series. And if Dorilton/Williams changes Sargeant for another, they’ll just have more of these problems.

          So on one hand, we have Liberty’s appointees waxing lyrical about how amazing F1 is doing, and how all the teams are worth trillions or whatever else they’ve dreamed up, and then in reality you get these shenanigans. Meanwhile they refuse to even entertain including Andretti in their club because the Americans supposedly would not be ‘competitive for wins or podiums’. But these guys can’t even field two cars a month into the season!

          It’s a disappointing situation all around.

          1. Fully agree with this, the exageration about the teams’ value, the lack of competitiveness of most teams and refusing to even let andretti prove they’re better than most.

  2. How surprising that he gets the same monocoque copy Albon started the last event with rather than the one he originally used.
    Yes, the mechanics had to switch between the driver-allocated PU & gearbox components, but questionable treatment again.
    At least he can’t be blamed if/when he’s slower again, given the repair-induced 100-gram difference between the two monocoques.

    1. I guess they take the risk that Albon crashes it again this weekend in account and fear it might be hard to repair it AGAIN after that?

      1. Possibly

  3. Faith is blind… Now most “pundits” say how they can understand the decision Vowles have made, it makes sense, bla, bla.
    I say that we must see a wider picture. Even here in the comments almost no one believed in Sargeant, there was much mockery going on, yet Vowles signed him for another year, opting not to pursue better talents.

    That’s why this is all his fault. He made a decision to keep that driver, as good as he is, and give him the chance (money had to be the single reason behind it). Two races later, he kicked him out of his car and gave it to the driver who crashed his own.
    This is how the man lost my respect. We can’t consider this situation in isolation, but within the whole context.

    And I was sure that he would add salt to the wound and make Sargeant drive the affected car in the future too.
    You don’t sign a driver if you don’t intent to threat him as your “real” driver. Oh, and if every point matters so much (that you publicly humiliate your employee for a little chance of scoring one), why do you sign drivers that can’t score points in the first place? I don’t see the decision maker taking responsibility, but putting it all on a driver he resigned. What a poor management… But he’s a likeable guy, a Brit, always kind to the media… So one have to dig deep to find any criticism at all.

    1. beggars belief. but its only about money right now in this formula which costs the teams +50x on engine pricing to keep the laundry moving.

    2. Sobering comment but I can’t disagree. Where does that leave Albon though? Is he a point scoring machine that deserves to be in the car when there is only one available? Because if money is the key factor here shouldn’t Sargeant be the one driving?

      1. A better finishing position in the WDC could earn them more money than the sponsorship, if they can deliver the points.

    3. Sargeant is a latifi-level driver, latifi also had a billionaire father, surely there’s plenty of billionaire drivers they could get if they were just after money.

      But that said, I also disagree with the decision to keep him for a 2nd year and I agree with you it’s costing them way more points than the ones they could’ve possibly gained by this decision to give albon his car.

  4. Hi @Keith Collatine, I think that first sentence should be “Logan Sargeant says he is sure Williams are confident in his ability despite the team leaving him without a drive in Australia”.
    I too am confident in his abilities… as a crash test driver.
    Seriously, when I see guys like Sargeant, Stroll and to an increasing extent Ricciardo holding seats that more proven drivers should be possess if this were a truly merit-based ecosystem… I despair for the sport

    1. You can also apply this reasoning to teams, why exactly do we have proven slow\mediocre teams like haas\sauber\renault and don’t give a chance to someone else like andretti, who might be just as slow but might also be better?

  5. So much faith in the money he brings. This one as valuable as all other recent pay drivers.

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