Former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan says Williams cannot continue to rely on just one driver for its performance, suggesting that Logan Sargeant is not worthy of being retained by the British outfit.
Sargeant was promoted to F1 this season after a full year in the FIA Formula 2 Championship in 2022, having finished fourth in the competitive feeder series.
But it’s been a difficult rookie campaign for the 23-year-old from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, whose track record suffered from a lack of consistency and from several costly mistakes.
Williams boss James Vowles has yet to make a call on Sargeant’s future with the team.
On the one hand, despite his lackluster maiden campaign, the American has shown flashes of potential and progress in the second part of the season.
But on the other, Sargeant has been unable to perform consistently on a par with his talented teammate Alex Albon, while his struggles and costly mistakes have undeniably cost the team valuable points.
Furthermore, Williams should also prioritize achieving short-term results. Retaining Sargeant could delay the team's ability to move up the grid and establish themselves as a competitive force in Formula 1.
Thirteen-time Grand Prix winner David Coulthard, speaking on his Formula for Success podcast, believes the performance gap between Albon and Sargeant is indeed problematic.
“The obvious one in comparison in lap time, has to be Logan Sargeant. Half a second away from Albon,” commented the Channel 4 pundit, flanked by his sidekick Eddie Jordan.
“And I feel for Logan, because I genuinely would like all these guys to have success because it’s a privilege to be a professional sportsperson, but it just doesn’t seem to have gelled.
“For some drivers who have success in the lower formulas, Formula 1 is just a different animal and the consistency of performance, even though he had a great qualifying in Vegas and I think it was Zandvoort he did a really good job, but there’s just been too many sort of missed opportunities.
“And I’d be curious to know EJ, whether if he were in your team, and it was no financial benefit in keeping him or nationality benefit, would he make your two? And with the hope that suddenly he’s going to discover some pace and the penny is going to drop.”
As a former F1 team owner, Jordan knows where he would set his outfit’s priorities.
“First of all, talent is something you have and you can’t buy it,” Jordan added. “Would he drive the car if he had no money? Absolutely not.
“Would he drive the car if he had a whole heap of money? I’m not even sure he would.
“Because if I look back, the Jarno Trullis, the Ralf Schumachers, the Eddie Irvines and the [Rubens] Barrichellos, whilst people might think that we went for money primarily, there was a fine line.
“Yes, we needed somebody to help pay the bills, but it’s not absolutely imperative, Eddie Irvine is case in point. But then there were other things that he brought in terms of other sponsors that helped to come as a result.”
Jordan’s stance is clear: “Sargeant would not be in my team.
“We didn’t finish outside the top five that often and we got to number three, so to do that, you need really high quality drivers who know and you can’t rely on just one.
“I mean, of course, there were times that we did rely on one. But generally speaking, I think a very strong team-mate is exactly what you want.
“So the answer, Sargeant, I’m afraid wouldn’t be in my team.”