Vowles details Sargeant's fresh approach for 2024

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Williams team boss James Vowles has revealed the approach the British outfit has devised to help Logan Sargeant boost his performance and consistency in his sophomore season in Formula 1.

After a baptism by fire in his rookie year, Sargeant is determined to turn things around in 2024 and iron out the on-track errors and sometimes erratic execution that marked his debut campaign and jeopardized his future with Williams.

Nevertheless, the Grove-based squad confirmed Sargeant’s contract for 2024. But changes – mental and physical – were in order for the 23-year-old American.

Sargeant has bulked up by five kilograms, aiming for increased physical endurance and G-force tolerance within the demanding cockpit. This physical transformation complements a new, more measured approach, suggesting a holistic strategy for improvement as Vowles explained.

“First and foremost, I’ve asked him to surprise the world in terms of his physical fitness, his approach and his performance,” Vowles told the media last week.

“We’ve changed quite a bit with him across the winter period; his training mechanisms and programme is completely different behind the scenes.

“Already, you should see he’s very much a more confident person, and he carries that well.

“There will be a reset. It’s very hard for racing drivers across this period when they finish the last race and it’s early December and then start again in late February to be right on the money straightaway – he won’t be.

Logan Sargeant (USA) Williams Racing FW45 on the grid. 05.11.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 21, Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Race Day. - www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

“What I’ve asked him to do is to approach the first few days driving the car with caution again, the same way he did at the end of the year, build up into it and don’t try and rush into success and don’t be disappointed if success doesn’t come to you immediately.

“That’s the confidence I place in him. That’s why he’s back in the car, and that openness to it, that discussion even provides him an arena where he knows he can start pushing himself and the team around him in order to get success out of it.”

Although Sargeant found himself in the unenviable position of being the only driver across all teams who couldn't out-qualify his teammate even once in 2023, Vowles offered a nuanced perspective, suggesting that the actual performance gap between Sargeant and Alex Albon wasn't as wide as the raw data might suggest.

“At the end of the year, I was pretty open about this, perhaps midway through the year, his car wasn’t in the same specs of Alex,” he said.

“We were running out of bits because I was putting our focus in 2024. I didn’t want to spend time building new bits, I want to spend time building next year’s success, and the result of that is that he was slightly down on performance.

“So at times where the world thought he was really underperforming, it wasn’t as offset as people felt.

“At the end of the year, when they were on the same equipment, he started to fall right back into where I needed him to be – and what I’ve asked him to do is that momentum needs to continue,” Vowles added.

“I need him now in the winter to not go back to his old ways of driving, where he’s trying to extract too much from himself and the car too quickly, but rather approach things progressively.

“We should have a car that is more suiting to both drivers, hoping that we’ve got rid of some of these really nasty effects from last year, but then we’ll also make a platform for him where he should be able to grow much quicker than he did in 2023.”

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