F1: Sargeant, not Herta, likely next American driver in Formula 1 (4th Update)

This prediction from August has now come true as Logan Sargeant is confirmed as America’s next F1 driver. See related Story.

Sargeant chose a path to stay in Europe and race, which has taken him to F1.  Colton Herta chose to leave Europe and return to the USA and IndyCar, where he shall remain for the foreseeable future.

Logan Sargeant crosses the finish line in the Abu Dhabi GP F2 race and earns his F1 Superlicense.

October 22, 2022 

Williams Formula 1 team boss Jost Capito teased the prospect of Logan Sargeant being confirmed as a 2023 race driver during the United States Grand Prix weekend.

Ahead of the US GP at Austin, Capito made an appearance on Amp’s new F1 show Fast & Loose and was asked about the prospect of an American driver being on the 2023 grid.

“Follow the news and you might see something on Saturday,” he said.

If he is announced by Williams this weekend, it would have to be with the provision that he still needs to get the Superlicense.

Asked at Austin on Friday when his future would become clear, Sargeant replied “honestly I’m not sure” and added: “I need a good F2 showing in Abu Dhabi to secure my Superlicense and that’s the main focus at the moment, to have a good round and solidify myself in the top two or three in the championship”.

Logan Sargeant (USA) Williams Racing Academy Driver.
United States Grand Prix, Friday 21st October 2022. Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, USA.

Sargeant’s appointment has appeared increasingly likely for some time, although he does not yet have a Superlicense and will only be eligible for one if he finishes in a leading position in the F2 standings.

Sargeant completed 23 trouble-free laps in FP1, and did a practice start on the grid.

He finished the session in 19th place, ahead of Giovinazzi, who crashed his Haas early on. He was 1.9 seconds off teammate Alex Albon.

“A lot different than what I expected, to be honest,” he said of his experience after the session. “The way that the car reacts compared to what I’m used to in F2 is massively different.

Logan Sargeant (USA) Williams Racing FW44 Academy Driver.
United States Grand Prix, Friday 21st October 2022. Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, USA.

“Super reactive in the high-speed, and so good on the brakes. But yeah, in general, it was a good run. And I learned a lot.

“I was pretty shocked by how much power it had as well at the start, so something to get used to. And it was tricky out there.”

“I think the main goal coming into today was just to learn as much as possible. And I feel like I did pick up on a lot, very different to what I honestly expected, but in a good way.

“A lot of potential to still pick up on and improve on, but I think it was a good start and happy with how it went.

“I think most important now is to go back, debrief, pick up on as much information as I can, and give them as good a feedback as possible. And yeah, I’d say it was a good day in the office.”

October 22, 2022 

Logan Sargeant is the top favorite to race for Williams next season.

Sargeant is competing in his first season of Formula 2, currently an impressive third in the standings, with just the final round of the season ahead in Abu Dhabi.

Mark Webber – the mastermind behind Piastri’s McLaren move – told Channel 4 he thinks Sargeant is the favorite to land the Williams ride.

“I think Logan Sargeant. He’s in Formula 2 this year… In general, I think he’s the favorite.

“[He’s] American, Liberty [Media, owners of F1] – they are pretty keen on him.

“But then there’s some Super License challenges around him in terms of points, championship positions.”

The Grove-based team is likely waiting for the final round of Formula 2 in Abu Dhabi to determine whether Logan Sargeant can secure the necessary Super License points to race in F1.

Sargeant needs to finish 5th or above in the Formula 2 standings. Going into the final weekend of the season, the American driver is third – but there are seven drivers within 25 points of him.

September 18, 2022 

Logan Sargeant from Fort Lauderdale, Florida in the United States, heads into the final round of his Formula 2 season third in the standings.

Sargeant has quietly put himself in the frame for a Williams F1 seat in 2023, though he must finish well at the final round in Abu Dhabi.

Sargeant must not slip any lower than P5 in the final standings if he wants to obtain his Superlicense needed to make it to Formula 1.

His fellow American Colton Herta fell short of the Superlicense points needed with Red Bull eyeing him up for a 2023 AlphaTauri drive, so while Sargeant is showing that Herta is not the only American racer on the Formula 1 radar, he must secure the necessary Superlicense points.

With 135 points compared to 126 for Jack Doohan, Jehan Daruvala and Enzo Fittipaldi all tied behind, Sargeant could easily finish outside the top-5 in the final standings as the F2 series heads into the final two races of the season – a doubleheader in AbuDhabi.

While Williams is run by mostly Brits and a German (Capito), Williams are owned by American firm Dorilton Capital, who could pressure them to get an American driver onboard, considering the surge in popularity which Formula 1 has experienced in the USA.

However, team boss Jost Capito has made it clear that the marketing opportunities with Sargeant will not be a main motivator for promoting him.

“We wouldn’t take him because of that,” Capito confirmed to Motorsport.com. “Either we think he’s ready and he’s capable, or not. He could do another year of F2, or whatever.

“I think he’s ready. Yeah, he needs some points. Of course, if he doesn’t get the points, nothing helps. But yeah, I’m confident that he’s ready, if he gets the points or not.”

Sargeant will have the opportunity to make his Formula 1 race weekend debut at his home race, appearing for Williams during FP1 ahead of the 2022 United States Grand Prix.

August 15, 2022 

Williams F1 Team Principal Jost Capito may elevate the team’s junior driver Logan Sargeant to Formula 1 as early as next year.

Sargeant is part of the Williams stable of young drivers, and last had an outing for the team at the post-season Abu Dhabi test last year. He’s scheduled to take part in FP1 in Austin – his home race weekend – and Team Principal Capito has made no secret of how much he rates the youngster.

Logan Sargeant (USA), Williams Racing academy driver.
Formula One Testing, Tuesday 14th December 2021. Abu Dhabi

“He will be in a Formula 1 car in the future, I’m absolutely convinced,” said Capito.

“Of course, we are impressed. You know, it’s his first season in F2. We didn’t put any pressure on him. He has the time to develop, and he’s really impressed us with how fast he has got to grips with the car.”

Sargeant has scored two wins in F2, both in July, and lies third in the championship with four rounds remaining. He’ll need to finish in the top five in order to have enough Super License points to graduate to Formula 1 – if a seat became available.

“It’s quite tricky to take early decisions on something on a Formula 2 driver as long as the season is not over. So that’s part of the decision-making, of course,” continued Capito.

“I think we’ve got various options. And we will finally go for what we believe is the best for the team. But it’s too early to get into details because we’re not there yet.”

In other words, if Sargeant can bring a big check like ride-buyer Nicholas Latifi does, or if he wins the F2 title in his first year (unlikely) he could be in F1 as early as 2023.

Logan Sargeant (USA) Portraits. Williams Academy Driver. To Drive in FP1: Austin, Texas, USA

The talented Colton Herta, on the other hand, has made his bed in IndyCar, and the only way he will be getting an F1 seat is if Andretti Global’s efforts to enter a team in F1 were successful.

They were not, and McLaren, who tested Herta recently, has no open seats, and won’t for at least 3 to 5 years.


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