US rookie Logan Sargeant on his "solo" road to F1 RaceFans

US rookie Logan Sargeant on his “solo” road to F1 RaceFans

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Components 1 continues to blow up in the USA, with document numbers following the game and attending races. This yr’s program boasts three U.S. races with the addition of a race at a brand new avenue monitor this November in Las Vegas.

Will this new viewers keep right here? Former F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone struggled for years to realize an American viewers, however after a number of makes an attempt, he failed to realize recognition past a devoted hardcore fanbase. F1 actually took off within the US after the US-based Liberty Media film took management.

Solely a brand new addition to the grid this yr might help the game develop on the state facet. One man will shoulder the nation’s expectation by ending America’s 16-year watch for a full-time grand prix driver.

Williams racer Logan Sargeant has all the time dreamed of being in Components 1 as a substitute of America’s personal NASCAR and IndyCar sequence. He swapped sunny Florida for the UK earlier than he reached puberty to pursue his dream.

Sergeant gained twice in Components 2 final yr and was the most effective rookie

Chatting with media, together with RaceFans, at Williams’ season launch occasion final week, Sargeant defined why he left the US behind as he launched into his F1 journey.

“There got here some extent the place we needed to determine, and it was early. We have been searching for the place the most effective competitors was, and it was all the time Europe, Europe, Europe. That is all you heard and that is the place that you must be if you wish to go up towards the most effective.

“I first moved to Europe after I was 12 to start out the European karting scene. I initially moved with my household. They lived with me for the primary few years in Europe and I lived at school for a yr, which was an expertise however fairly cool.

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Sargeant has lived in London ever since. His household “nonetheless comes to go to me each on occasion and examine on how I am doing,” however “it was exhausting at instances, a bit lonely, however ultimately it was clear it was price it,” she says.

Logan Sargeant, Williams, America Track, 2022
Coaching skins for Williams add tremendous license factors

Sargeant, now 22, with a number of Components 2 victories and fourth within the standings final season, is embarking on a brand new journey as Alexander Albon’s teammate, changing Nicholas Latifi.

Sargeant’s pursuit of his dream of being an F1 driver has been met with incomprehension by some in his hometown as F1 continues to be struggling to realize traction in America. However just a few years later, the story is totally totally different.

“On the time, I do not assume anybody actually cared or understood what that was,” she recollects. “It is humorous, individuals are texting me now they usually’re like, ‘Hey, I lastly understand how large this may be or how large F1 actually is’.

“For America, it is a fully totally different world now. Everybody is aware of what Components 1 is on the market proper now. It is good to see the transition and I hope it continues to develop.”

However he admits that he has all the time been reasonable about his probabilities of reaching F1. “The one motivation to maneuver right here was to race towards the most effective and see the place this is able to lead,” he stated.

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“I do not assume the main focus is fully on Components 1. There are numerous nice racing sequence on the market.” Clearly, you need to race professionally to be a driver, however that was the head we wished to succeed in.”

Jost Capito, CEO of Williams, Suzuka, 2022
Former crew principal Capito was “an enormous supporter” of Sargeant

He joined Williams’ driver academy in October 2021, changing into the final driver to assert a spot on the grid for the 2023 F1 season. Sargeant needed to wait till the final F2 weekend to succeed in the total 40 factors wanted to earn his tremendous license to race in F1.

Nonetheless, he’s at present making his debut with a crew that’s in flux. Williams made main modifications within the low season, changing crew principal Jost Capito with James Vowles, who was then Mercedes’ head of technique. Sargeant thought he had misplaced “an enormous supporter” after Capito left.

“He gave me the chance to race in Components 2, he gave me the chance to race in Components 1. He was an incredible particular person to work with.”

“However he finally returned to this enterprise after he retired. Frankly, it was an enormous request for him to do these lengthy seasons.”

Vowles was an integral piece of the puzzle in Mercedes’ dominance in 2014, serving to the crew win eight constructors’ championships and overseeing the promotion of George Russell to the crew final yr. Sargeant hopes he can flip issues round at Williams.

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“James’ coming is one other particular alternative as a result of he has labored with younger drivers at Mercedes. So I hope that I can be taught from him and be an incredible crew chief and assist this crew transfer ahead along with his expertise at Mercedes.

Sergeant goals for ‘fast and straightforward move’

“After all he has a successful monitor document and I hope he can apply that right here and provides us an incredible likelihood to maneuver ahead.”

Sargeant will be part of Alexander Albon, who’s getting into his fourth season as an F1 driver. He had his personal troublesome journey into F1, failing within the junior classes, after which dropped out by Crimson Bull in his second season on the world championship on the finish of 2020.

However Albon took a second chunk of the F1 cherry final yr and solidified his spot on Williams’ roster. Whereas the sergeant is able to be taught from his teammate, he has made it clear that he is not going to be afraid to chart his personal path.

“On the finish of the day, I believe I ought to believe in myself,” she stated. “I must belief my instincts and my emotions. If we really feel like we’re going in several instructions when it comes to the way in which the automotive is about up, then possibly that is the way it ought to go. However I hope all of it feels the identical and we are able to typically transfer in the identical path.

“I plan on not trusting him an excessive amount of and I really feel like I’ve to face up for myself, get by way of the exhausting and good instances, and expertise all of the various things. Ultimately, it is what is going to make you higher.

“I need to make this transition as quick and straightforward as attainable, however I do know there might be challenges, however I hope we are able to get by way of this shortly.”

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