Williams Sporting Director Sven Smeets has revealed their original plans for Logan Sargeant consisted of the team’s newest driver spending a second season in Formula 2 until numerous factors resulted in his promotion to Formula 1.
Academy graduate Sargeant will become the first American to race in F1 since Alexander Rossi in 2015 and will make his debut alongside Alex Albon in early March.
The Florida-born racer strung together a massively impressive rookie campaign in Formula 2 last year, noteworthy for some searing displays of speed in securing two pole positions and recording the same number of wins.
Sargeant’s starring performances in F1 came at a time when Nicholas Latifi was enduring a difficult time and was on the verge of being shown the exit door.
Along with the glaring lack of alternatives available, Sargeant soon emerged as the obvious option for Williams and the Grove outfit’s former team principal, Jost Capito, subsequently offered the seat to the 22-year-old on the basis he would remain in a position to obtain the necessary FIA Super License.
The confirmation that Sargeant had earned his promotion chance officially completed the grid line-up for 2023 and he will be one of two complete rookies in next year’s field alongside his former championship rival from the Formula 3 days, Oscar Piastri.
However, Smeets has detailed that things could have gone very differently for Sargeant as their mapped-out career plan had initially involved him contesting a second season in F2 rather than making the step up to the premier class.
“We had a two year-year plan with Logan [Sargeant] in F2. I think that’s how everybody starts,” Smeets told Motorsport.com.
“When the season started, very quickly and especially Silverstone and the races after that, we started to see the potential that we maybe didn’t have to do two seasons with him in F2,” he said.
“We didn’t say to him ‘you need to win F2 or you need to be second’, it was just his progression in F2, the raw speed he has shown in one lap, and himself maturing.”
But it wasn’t purely his performance alone that impressed the Williams hierarchy.
“It was also how he develops here in the sim sessions, doing his physical camps we have for them, doing the media training,” Smeets added. “All that was starting to go in a direction that, by summertime, we saw him as becoming one of our contenders.”
The car that Sargeant will make his F1 bow in will be revealed to the world when Williams showcases a first look at their package for 2023, the FW45, on February 6.
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