Williams’ Logan Sargeant is not feeling the pressure of being the first American Formula 1 driver for over seven years.
Sargeant took part in his first full season of Formula 2 last year, and his valiant title challenge saw him win two races on his way to a respectable fourth-placed finish.
This earned him a seat at Williams for this year in place of Nicholas Latifi, who was dropped after a difficult season in 2022.
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The last American to start an F1 race was Alex Rossi in 2015 when the 2018 IndyCar runner-up deputised five times for Manor Marussia, managing a best finish of 12th at his home race with the ultimately doomed outfit.
The second most recent American racer in F1 was Scott Speed, whose run with Toro Rosso ended after a year-and-a-half before he was replaced by now four-time champion Sebastian Vettel.
Mario Andretti remains the last American driver to claim a title in F1 having achieved success with Lotus in 1978, 17 years after Phil Hill’s triumphant season at Ferrari.
American participation has been fairly dry in the 21st century, but additions to the sport such as Drive to Survive, as well as races in Miami and Vegas, appear to have reignited the flame.
Now, it is Sargeant’s time to represent the stars and stripes in F1, and he is fully focused on the task at hand.
“I feel like, at the end of the day, I’ve put in as much hard work as anyone else to reach this point,” he told Formula1.com. “I just have to look at it as, ‘prepare the best I possibly can to be the best driver I can possibly be’ next year.
“Hopefully I can represent [the United States] well and make them proud. I don’t think it’s any extra pressure, to be honest. I have high expectations for myself as it is.”
Sargeant arrives amid growing interest in F1 from the States, but asserts his signing with Williams is unrelated to that – he deserves his place.
“I’d like to think it’s just a happy coincidence,” added the Floridian. “As I said, I’ve put in the hard work over the past however many years, making a commitment to move to Europe when I was young to make this dream a reality.
“I feel like I’ve had a very good junior formula career. I’m just looking forward to closing that chapter and moving on to the next.”