Logan Sargeant says the support from Williams during a run of tough race weekends has helped him deliver improved performances in recent rounds during his rookie season.
Williams promoted Sargeant after just one year of Formula 2 last season and he showed flashes of promise in both Bahrain and Jeddah before struggling more at street venues he’d not driven on before in Australia and Miami. The past two rounds in Austria and Silverstone have seen Sargeant closing the gap a little to teammate Alex Albon — ending up 11th in the British Grand Prix — and after Nyck de Vries was dropped just 10 races into the season by AlphaTauri, the American says Williams’ backing has been a key factor in the recent gains.
“For me being a rookie, just to have the team’s support throughout what has been a tough few races before these previous couple of good ones is really nice,” Sargeant said. “Just to know they have my back, to keep working with me, trying to help me, and since we brought the updates to the car it’s felt really good.
“Especially in Silverstone, I felt low fuel and high fuel, no matter what we did, every time we went on the track it was in a really, really good place. As a driver that just brings confidence — you can go and push it to the limit. It’s nice to see our pace is getting better and better and we have a car that we can really fight and compete for points with.”
While Sargeant admits he has been also having to learn how to handle the outside demands of being a Formula 1 driver, he is eyeing up a big result in Belgium before the summer break.
“I’m still really excited — I’m super-motivated going into every single race weekend. Away from the track we’re still very busy and I do feel tired quite often, but that adrenaline gets you through the weekend. I’m really looking forward to the next two — I think Spa looks pretty appetizing so we’ll see what we can do there. Plenty of energy going into the race weekends and ready to keep improving.”
Team principal James Vowles says patience is key with rookies, but that he’s seen enough from Sargeant to know he’s capable of scoring points for Williams this season.
“With Logan it’s normal on his journey, but I would say across the last two races you’re starting to see the Logan I know — you’re starting to see a driver really get comfortable with a car,” Vowles said. “And to finish four seconds away from the points, it’s on the cards, it’s going to happen, it’s just a question of when.