Thursday, Jun 08

American Logan Sargeant Tabbed for Formula One Seat in 2023 Featured

Friday, Nov 04 1151
American Logan Sargeant talks with media during the USGP weekend in October American Logan Sargeant talks with media during the USGP weekend in October Williams Racing/Williams F1

Formula 1 has experienced tremendous growth globally, especially in the United States, over the last 5 years. The organization is desperate to tap into the vast American market but they’ve been missing the biggest component to American commercial success: a home-grown driver. Until now. On Sunday, Williams Racing announced that American Logan Sargeant will join the team in 2023.

In 2022, the Williams Racing lineup featured Nicholas Latifi and Alex Albon, a pairing which produced only 8 points to this point in the season. Albon was signed to a multi-year extension in August; one month later, Williams announced that Latifi would not return to the team following 2022, leaving the team with an open seat for 2023. Latifi scored only 7 points in nearly 3 full seasons with Williams to date, and was repeatedly outperformed by teammates George Russell (2019-2021) and Albon (2022). Prior to Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, the team had not revealed Latifi’s replacement. 

During Saturday’s press conference prior to the race on Sunday at Circuit of the Americas, Williams team principal Jost Capito slipped in the team’s decision for their second driver in 2023 and beyond. Logan Sargeant, a 21-year-old American from Florida, will replace Latifi at Williams next year provided that he achieves enough FIA SuperLicense points to be eligible for a Formula 1 drive. Sargeant replaced Latifi for Free Practice 1 on Saturday and will also run FP1 at Mexico and Abu Dhabi to increase his chances at reaching the license threshold.

“I think with every rookie who comes in, and he had one season in Formula 2, and I’m a fan of getting young drivers as quick through as possible into Formula 1 because the series, the cars, compared to Formula 1 cars, lack tracks, so get him in as soon as possible and find out if he’s capable to stay in Formula 1 long-term – which we believe he is,” Capito said. “His first year in F2, and he won races, and he has been qualifying very strong, all the years in his career, so we believe he’s absolutely ready to get into Formula 1.”

Sargeant won two races in F2 this year, in back-to-back events at Silverstone and Austria, becoming the first American to win in the series since Alexander Rossi in 2013. He currently sits in third place in the F2 standings with 1 race left; in order to obtain a SuperLicense, he needs to finish the season in 5th place or higher in the driver standings. Should he succeed, and be officially signed to Williams Racing, he will join Alex Albon for Williams’ 2023 driver pairing. Capito is confident that the pairing will be successful next year.

“We can have a rookie because, with Alex, who’s still young but also already a very experienced driver,” Capito explained. “He established so well in the team, he gave fantastic results, he’s working well with the team, so we can put a rookie alongside him.”

Sargeant will join McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and AlphaTauri’s Nyck De Vries as drivers making their full-time Formula 1 debuts in 2023. The American will be the first driver from the states since Alexander Rossi in 2015. Rossi, an 8-time race winner in the NTT IndyCar Series since 2016, ran 5 races in F1 between 2014 and 2015 with Manor Marussia (a best finish of 12th at the 2015 USGP). The last time an American won an F1 race was in 1978, when Mario Andretti won the Dutch Grand Prix that year. Andretti is also the last American driver to win the F1 Championship, also in 1978. His son Michael Andretti is the last American to score points in 1993; Scott Speed is the most recent driver to finish in the top 10 for the red, white, and blue (2007). In short— America has a serious F1 drought. Sargeant could change everything for American fans. 

Formula 1 already has 2 US races, in Miami and Austin, Texas on the schedule. Next year, they’ll add a third on the streets of Las Vegas. American interest in the series has grown exponentially since the release of Netflix reality show Drive to Survive, which goes behind the scenes of the F1 season. Adding a homegrown driver to the grid will only increase the series popularity among Americans. Instead of picking from a cast of mostly European drivers and teams, we the people have a driver to gravitate to. 

Logan Sargeant is not stepping into a good car. Williams will likely finish last in the constructor standings this year, a spot that they’re familiar with over the last decade. He’ll be a rookie, competing against the best open wheel drivers on the planet. But, despite all of that, his addition to the F1 grid is monumental. It signifies a shift in the sport’s popularity in the United States and will usher in a new era of American motorsports, regardless of how he performs and how many races he runs. Sargeant signifies the next chapter of American F1; it’s lights out, and away we go. 


Ethan Miller

Ethan Miller is 17 years old and resides in Pennsylvania. He aspires to become a sports writer following high school, and views writing for Speedway Digest as the next step towards a career in journalism. Ethan currently hosts the QuickPitPodcast with a few fellow NASCAR fans, which can be found on all major podcast platforms. 


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