Williams working with Sargeant: 'We want him in the car next year'

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Williams team principal James Vowles says the British outfit is working with Logan Sargeant as much as it can to the help the American realize his targets as it wants him “in the car next year”.

Sargeant’s learning of the ropes in the demanding world of F1 during his maiden season in the sport has been a major challenge for the 22-year-old from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The Williams charger has struggled to put together a clean race weekend, his efforts sending him off course or into the barrier more times than he cares to remember.

Cleaning up one’s act while also fighting to remain on the grid is a remarkably difficult exercise, especially for a driver whose confidence has perhaps been dented by one setback too many.

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But Williams isn’t giving up on its apprentice. On the contrary, it has been stepping up its efforts to guide, counsel and instruct Sargeant, for the purpose of buffing the rough edges of a talent it believes in.

“Logan has very clear targets of what he has to hit before the end of the season, and we are working with him continuously,” Vowles said. “And that’s the important point, we are working with him. We want him to succeed, and we want him in the car next year.

“This is very much on us as well. We have taken someone straight from Formula 2, without any significant testing, put him a day and half in Bahrain in this car, and then wished them well on a season that has been awfully challenging for rookies, full stop.”

Vowles says Williams is looking beyond the rubble of Sargeant’s errors and seeing “some very positive signs to take out”, especially in terms of Sargeant’s performance progress relative to Alex Albon.

“First and foremost, Logan is not on the same aerodynamic specific as Alex was,” noted the Williams boss.

“We have updates that are on Alex’s car that are not on Logan’s, due to the amount of attrition we have had this year.

“So, often when you see a performance offset it is not quite what it may seem on the timing pages.

“Furthermore, to that, if you look at the case of Suzuka, he did a build up across the weekend, as he went into FP3, he did a time that matched Alex.
“And as we go into qualifying, until the accident he was overlaying, line-on-line, within a tenth of Alex’s performance at one of the trickiest circuits of the season.

“So, the progress is there in certain forms but very clearly being marred by a number of other issues and accidents have appeared as well.”

Williams’ decision at the end of last year to promote Sergeant to F1 means that the team feels that it has a responsibility to make it work with its young driver.

“We will continue to work with Logan, and invest in Logan, as we want him to succeed as a result of the journey he is on,” concluded Vowles.

“He is on a journey with us as Williams, we have a young driver programme that we will continue to invest in.

“And only at the point where all of us come to the conclusion that we have reached the end of that road will we make any decisions, but we are nowhere near that yet.”

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