Hill tells Sargeant to take everything ‘corner by corner’

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Damon Hill has urged Williams’ Logan Sargeant to “keep a cool head” and to drive more within himself to regain his composure after a difficult start to his 2024 campaign.

Sargeant qualified and finished in the lower tier of the field in Bahrain and in Jeddah. However, he was sidelined after Friday’s running in Melbourne following Williams’ strategic decision to assign the young American’s car to Alex Albon after the latter’s crash in free practice.

Unfortunately, Sargeant’s reprise in Japan was short-lived as a result of a costly mishap in FP1 at Suzuka that put him out of contention for the remainder of the day.

The 23-year-old has been made aware by Williams team boss James Vowles that he crucially needs to develop consistency to improve his track record, or risk losing his seat after his sophomore year in F1.

Addressing Sargeant’s troubles and precarious position at Williams on the latest F1 Nation podcast, Hill laid out a few bare facts while offered some words of advice on how the American can improve his approach and driving.

“There’s only so much you can do,” said the 1996 F1 World Champion. “There’s things you can affect and things you can’t affect. And the things you can affect, obviously, are the things you need to put all your focus on. And that means driving.

“I think that his crash at Suzuka was a sign that he felt he had to do something brilliant as soon as possible. And I think that the panic should not set in, you need to keep a cool head to say, ‘Listen, there’s only so much you can do’.

“And you have to drive a little bit within yourself. You can’t suddenly become Max Verstappen in one mighty leap, you have to know yourself.

“So if he just does a good solid job in whatever race he comes up against, and just puts all the rest of it out of his head, because there’s nothing he can do about it anyway, then we’ll see what happens,” added the former Williams charger.

“It’s almost like you’ve just got to take everything corner by corner, literally, all that matters is doing each corner right. You join them all up together and the lap will be better and then you’ve got a better lap and then you go out again and you’ve got that as your foundation.

“You can break it down into making it very, very simple, rather than complicated.”

Joining in on the discussion, former F1 driver and Aston Martin F1 ambassador Pedro de la Rosa recommended that Sargeant put his head down and work harder.

The Spaniard also noted that while the focus was on the American, Alex Albon was also to blame for Williams’ string of broken hardware.

“My best advice would be work hard, do a lot of simulator days in the factory, make sure that there’s no wheel unturned from his side and also remind him that not all the mistakes have been done by him,” said de la Rosa.

“Let’s not forget that the crash in Australia was Alex Albon that crashed the car, destroyed the car.

“We are seeing many crashes from Williams drivers, some unfortunate. We’re just focusing on Logan Sargeant, but come on man, I think we have to give him a break as well. It’s not only him there.

“There’s been mistakes, some unfortunate racing incidents like Suzuka, which can happen, and just work hard, keep doing what you’re doing, make sure that not because you are feeling unhappy or depressed that at one point you start not working as hard, because it’s very difficult to keep pushing yourself every morning if things are not going your way. I’m pretty sure he will turn the wheel.”

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