Vowles tells Sargeant to be more consistent

Logan Sargeant (USA) Williams Racing. 07.10.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 18, Qatar Grand Prix, Doha, Qatar, Sprint Day. - www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images
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Williams Racing team principal James Vowles has told their rookie driver Logan Sargeant that he needs to improve his consistency if he wants to keep his seat at Grove for a second season.

After 17 races in 2023, Logan Sargeant is the only full-time driver left who has yet to score a championship point. His more experienced team mate Alex Albon has claimed all 13 of the team's points so far.

The 22-year-old American made it through to the final round of qualification at Zandvoort and finished just outside the points in 11th place in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July.

But he's also been involved in a number of incidents with DNFs recorded in races at Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and Japan, and withdrew from the Hungarian GP and most recently in Qatar where he suffered from severe dehydration.

It's left his future with the team under the microscore, and his seat is the only one not officially confirmed and still in play for next season, wit h Liam Lawson among those eyeing up a possible opening.

For now though he has the backing of the boss - providing he demonstrates an improvement in race performance over the remaining five Grand Prix weekends of the year.

“Logan performed well [in Qatar]," said Vowles in a post-event video report for the official William website this week. "Especially given his illness and his weakened immune system, the dehydration he was suffering from,

“He qualified close to Alex for the main Grand Prix and in the main GP itself," he pointed out, "Until the dehydration really properly kicked in, he was a matter of seconds behind him.

"He had less track limits abuse than most of the other cars around him," he added. "So he was building on that consistency we’ve asked him to work on."


However Sargeant did spin off all by himself early in the Saturday sprint race, showing he still has work to do to meet the targets set for him by the team.

“We now go into a triple header again [but it's] three races he’s never been to before where he has to keep building on that and session by session, move forward and improve.

"Two are sprint races again too. He has just 60 minutes to get comfortable with what the track will be on Saturday and on Sunday, so it’ll be a real challenge - but one that he’s looking forward to.”

Sargeant told the media last week that he was working on improving his race performances and ignoring the criticism coming his way from social media.

"I have conversations with people who want me to keep improving, people who want me to be a better driver and person, so I don't even pay attention to any of that nonsense," he said of social media. "I don't look at it to be honest.

The Williams Racing FW45 of Logan Sargeant (USA) is recovered back to the pits on the back of a truck after he crashed in qualifying. 23.09.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 17, Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, Japan, Qualifying Day. - www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Moy / XPB Images

"Everyone who knows what is going on behind the scenes - who knows me as a person - wants me to succeed. I have support from the team, so I don't really care what anyone else thinks.

"I have people to talk to to just try and understand how to approach things and why these little mistakes are happening and how to get rid of them.

"It is a constant work-in-progress," he admitted. "I don't think anyone is perfect in that sense. It's about building off the mistakes - and it might sound silly, but using them to your advantage to try and learning from it.

"Experience always helps," he acknowledged. "Ideally, you'd have more testing, as that is the best way to prepare. When Lewis and Fernando joined everyone got endless days of testing - and in the current car too, which is very different to what we experience now.

"Now it's always a previous generation [of chassis] and that makes a difference. But even if it is the previous generation, just having more days makes a difference."

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