Sargeant: Protecting 'mental strength' crucial in rookie F1 year


Williams apprentice Logan Sargeant believes it will be important for him to remain mentally strong during the inevitable ups and downs that he'll encounter during his maiden season in Formula 1.

Sargeant was somewhat of a surprise pick by Williams to fill the team's second seat this season alongside Alex Albon.

But in the view of the team's management, the young American made up in performance what he lacked in experience while racing last year in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, the 22-year-old delivering two wins and finishing fourth in the series' standings.

On the eve of his maiden campaign among motorsport's elite, Sargeant admits that the idea of becoming a Grand Prix driver still hasn't fully sunk in.

"I'm obviously super excited, but at the moment I'm so caught up in the process of preparation and getting as well prepared as I can be that it hasn't probably quite sunk in yet," he said during the presentation of Williams' season on Monday.

"I'm not sure it's going to sink in until Thursday of the race weekend when it's all about to happen.

"But I'm super-excited and to be honest extremely motivated just to be ready and have a great season."

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Like any rookie, Sargeant is facing a steep learning curve. And wisely, he isn't setting any bold expectations for himself.

"I haven't set any particular expectations on the season ahead," he added. "I always have high self-expectations to outperform well, but to be honest I just want to enjoy it, come in as prepared as I can be and just deliver the results I can.

"I think if I perform to the best of my ability, it's all going to go well."

However, Williams' debutant certainly isn't expecting to learn the ropes of F1 while enjoying a season of clear sailing. On the contrary, racing in the lower tier of the field entails a higher risk of falling foul to circumstances.

Therefore, the young American expects there will be ups and downs during his season. But he believes the experience of his formative years in motorsport's junior series, when he often had to pick himself up after a clash or a misfortune, will serve him well in F1.

"I think going through sort of ups and downs throughout my junior career definitely has helped me mentally to grow and be stronger, and learn how to pick myself up when times are tough," he said.

"I think that's going to be especially important in Formula 1 because as we all know there's a lot of ups and downs in racing, so its' going to be about staying mentally strong."

Looking ahead, Sargeant is looking forward to tackling venues that are so far unknown to him, such as Melbourne, Suzuka or Las Vegas.

But the young man from Boca Raton, Florida is especially looking forward to his home race in Miami.

"That's obviously one I'm really looking forward to going to," he said.

"I think it's such a great opportunity for me, not only to race at home, but having the opportunity of having my friends and family there.

"Obviously I've never driven the track before, so that's going to be a cool experience, to get another track under my belt.

"But hopefully we can have a great weekend, hopefully it can be nice and sunny in Florida."

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