- Logan Sargeant is about to develop into the primary US F1 driver since 2015 as he’s signed with Williams for 2023.
- This is a gigantic turnaround for a driver who out of components racing twice.
Logan Sargeant is about to race in System One in 2023 for Williams Racing, an infinite turnaround after it regarded like his components racing profession was over twice earlier than it began.
Earlier than this yr’s United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, Sargeant spoke about how, in simply two years, he has gone from a “darkish place” to the head of open-wheel racing.
In 2020, Sargeant had a robust season racing for the highest crew in F3, Prema Racing, ending third within the standings. Nevertheless, after scoring six podiums and two wins within the first 14 races, he struggled within the ultimate 4 and located himself with out a job for the 2021 season.
“I completed 2020, and I just about had nowhere to go,” Sargeant stated when requested about his journey to F1.
The most important issue working in opposition to Sargeant was funding. Drivers in F2 are anticipated to cowl a few of the bills associated to operating the crew and securing a seat in a automotive, and Sargeant didn’t have the funding essential for F2.
“F2 is unquestionably dominated out for 2021,” Sargeant informed Racer after the 2020 season. “The issue with F2 is the funding for it is vitally excessive, as we all know … Truthfully, we by no means actually had the total funds to do it.”
Sargeant stated on the time that he and his assist group have been as a substitute on the lookout for a seat in both Indy Lights, the feeder sequence for IndyCar in North America, or leaving open-wheel racing for one thing else.
In a sport the place groups are more and more on the lookout for youthful drivers, this gave the impression to be the top of any hope Sargeant had for reaching F1, although he was solely 19.
“It was clearly a horrible feeling,” Sargeant stated in Austin. “I used to be coming off my greatest season so far, and to have completely nothing was fairly tough. I simply did not actually know the place to go. That was form of it. I figured possibly I might make one thing work in Sportscars, GTs, no matter, make some cash that means. It was a darkish place, to be sincere.”
However simply earlier than the 2021 season, Charouz Racing, the last-place crew in F3, provided Sargeant a seat, one thing he initially resisted.
“I used to be fairly in opposition to it at the beginning, to be sincere, as a result of I used to be on the very best crew earlier than, and it was an excellent season,” Sargeant stated. “I did not need to go to what, on the time, was the worst crew. The most effective factor I had was assist from my household and the crew round me to essentially push me to tackle a problem and attempt to be a crew chief going into that 2021 season. That modified all the things for me.”
Sargeant added that he took the F3 spot “to move a while.”
At first, it appeared just like the transfer simply delayed the inevitable. Regardless of 4 podiums and a win in 2021 and serving to to elevate Charouz to fifth within the standings, Sargeant was once more with out an F2 alternative for 2022.
Once more it appeared that Sargeant’s dream of turning into the primary American driver in F1 since 2015 and the primary full-time American on the grid since 2007 was over.
He once more turned to IndyCar with a take a look at scheduled with A.J. Foyt Racing. Nevertheless, that was canceled when Williams Racing known as and requested Sargeant to affix their driver academy and race in F2.
“Williams got here to me with an incredible alternative,” Sargeant stated this week. “The quantity of assist they’ve given me simply boosted my confidence massively. I signed with the crew in October. I used to be [testing in] an F1 automotive in December.”
The funding in Sargeant paid off as he picked up 4 podiums and the primary two F2 wins ever for an American driver.
“It is simply loopy how in a single yr, all the things can flip,” Sargeant stated this week. “You simply need to maintain going and imagine that it’s going to work out. “
Two years after pondering his F1 dream was lifeless, Sargeant is now only one hurdle away from being certainly one of solely 20 F1 drivers on the planet.
Sargeant, who’s at present third within the F2 standings with one race remaining, should end sixth or higher within the ultimate standings to earn a Tremendous License required for F1. Sargeant has a 12-point lead over the seventh-place driver, making it doubtless that he’ll safe his license if he can end the race.
If he can do this, he’ll convey the American flag again to F1.