Sargeant in the dark over F1 future despite Vowles ‘nice surprise’
By Ian Parkes
Friday 6th October, 2023 - 10:33pm
Logan Sargeant has confirmed speaking with James Vowles “every single weekend” but remains in the dark over his F1 future despite being given a “nice surprise” by the Williams team principal.
Sargeant’s seat at Williams remains the only one available for next season, with speculation over whether he will remain with the team ramping up following his latest incidents over the Japanese Grand Prix weekend.
The 21-year-old American has been involved in a number of crashes during his rookie season, with the latest at Suzuka in qualifying and a race-ending collision with Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas only adding fuel to the fire as to whether he deserves to remain with Williams.
A few days after that race in a video debrief on the Williams website, Vowles made clear his feelings on the subject of Sargeant’s future.
“Logan has very clear targets of what he has to hit before the end of the season, and we are working with him continuously,” said Vowles. “And that’s the important point – we are working with him. We want him to succeed, and we want him in the car next year.
“This is very much on us as well. We have taken someone straight from Formula 2, without any significant testing, put him a day and a half in Bahrain in this car, and then wished them well on a season that has been awfully challenging for rookies, full stop.”
While Sargeant knows he has support from inside Williams, he conceded that “it’s always nice” for it to be made public.
“From my side, I talk to James every single weekend,” said Sargeant, speaking ahead of this weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix. “I knew that (about Vowles’ support) before anything was put on social media.
“But it was sort of a nice surprise. I didn’t know that was coming.
“At the end of the day, I just need to keep working hard, keep my head down and try to do better.”
Sargeant, though, was unable to express confidence he will be in the car next year.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” he added.
“I talk to James every weekend in terms of…not even in terms of that, just in terms of what I can keep doing better.
“Until there’s any decision made, all I’m doing is trying to do my best every single weekend, keep improving, and just try to be more consistent. It’s all I can really say.”
Despite Vowles’ message, at present it remains unclear as to what the “very clear targets” are. Avoiding another incident such as that in Japan over the final six races is likely high among them.
“To me, it’s a bit different because it (the inner support) has been an ongoing thing for the whole year, so it’s not really brand new to me,” he said.
“I’ve known the support has been there from the start, I know the support is still there, and all I can do is keep giving it everything I’ve got.”