Sargeant: 'Timing is great' for an American driver to race in F1


Logan Sargeant is set to become the first American driver to race in F1 since 2015, and the Williams rookie believes it's never been a better time to fly the stars and stripes in the sport.

The United States' interest in Formula 1 spiraled upward in the wake of the success of the popular Netflix docu-series Drive to Survive, a rush that has resulted in the country now hosting three races, with events in Miami and Las Vegas joining Austin on the sport's annual calendar.

Unfortunately, America's representation in modern Formula 1 has been as sparse as it has been disappointing.

The country has only delivered two F1 World Champions – Phil Hill and Mario Andretti – and five race winners: Hill and Andretti of course, plus Dan Gurney, Richie Ginther and Peter Revson.

1978 F1 World Champion Mario Andretti - ©CahierArchive

The last American driver to race in F1 was IndyCar star Alexander Rossi who started five races with Manor in 2015 while Scott Speed was the last US driver to compete full-time in the sport in 2007.

Only time will tell if Sargeant's presence among motorsport's elite will blaze the trail for a new generation of American drivers, but as far as the Williams charger is concerned his own arrival has been timed to perfection.

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"I think the timing is great, to come into F1 and have three Grands Prix in the first season is pretty special and something I'm going to really enjoy," he said at Williams' 2023 team presentation this week.

"But I think you can tell that F1 in America is at its peak. The amount of people that are asking me questions and are curious about the sport is massive, and that's such a positive."

Representing America and making his countrymen proud is a big task for the 21-year-old apprentice. But Sargeant says he's "put in the hard work" and deserves his promotion, adding that he isn't feeling any "extra pressure".

Sargeant says he's relying mostly on himself to begin his journey. But some welcomed advice has nevertheless been forthcoming from former Williams driver George Russell.

"George has always been a good friend of mine, and always has given me a lot of advice and he's always been super helpful," said Sargeant.

"I have to respect the fact that we're all busy and we all have a lot on our plate, and I don't necessarily want to rely on anyone else other than myself for the most part.

"But he's always been a good friend and someone that I can go to and I'm sure if I ever absolutely needed it he would be there to help."

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