If America's newest Formula 1 driver wants to prove he belongs in the series, he has an excellent chance to do so his rookie season.

, Logan Sargeant's Big Break Has Arrived
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This Summer, executives at Red Bull-affiliated AlphaTauri made waves when they indicated that IndyCar star Colton Herta was going to join the team after an expected waiver of the last few super license points he would have needed to qualify for Formula 1. When that waiver was denied, the dream of an American on the 2023 F1 grid seemed to be denied with it. Then, months later, Williams made a surprising decision: Logan Sargeant, a Formula 2 rookie with three years of Formula 3 experience, has been promoted to Williams F1. He will be the first American to start a season in the sport in over a decade.

This is the first installment of our driver-by-driver preview of the 2023 Formula 1 season. This weekend, we will be covering Williams. You can find the rest of our previews here.

Comparing Sargeant to Herta is a waste of time. While the two are about the same age, Herta is far more experienced. He has the success in a senior series to show for it, collecting seven wins in IndyCar competition over four seasons; the same year Herta won his first IndyCar race, Sargeant was only entering Formula 3. His resume has a notable blemish, but his first two years in Formula 3 and first in Formula 2 suggest that he is still improving and has plenty of time to develop into an F1 driver long-term.

, Logan Sargeant's Big Break Has Arrived
Rudy Carezzevoli – Formula 1Getty Images


Although he is an American by birth and license, Logan Sargeant has been racing in Europe since 2009. He moved from karts to cars in the 2016-2017 offseason, running regional Formula 4 and Formula Renault cars for his first two seasons. After collecting a few wins in Formula Renault Eurocup, Sargeant moved to Formula 3 in 2019. He scored points just four times in his first season, but by his second was a force to be reckoned with.

Sargeant’s 2020 F3 season is the crown jewel in his resume, winning twice en route to the series title and missing a championship over newly-signed McLaren driver Oscar Piastri by just four points. It was a breakout year, and he seemed destined for another in Formula 2 a year later. That requires money, however, and Sargeant only had the funding to continue in Formula 3.

The 2021 season that followed was a major disappointment. Sargeant finished just seventh with a new team, winning just once and finishing with less than half the championship points of champion Dennis Hauger.

Sargeant then moved to Formula 2 for the 2022 season, a series that had graduated just one of its past three champions to Formula 1. Sargeant won twice, collecting enough points to finish fourth. While he finished more than 100 points behind series champion Felipe Drugovich, his deal with Williams announced late in the 2022 season required just a high enough Formula 2 finish to secure a super license. Sargeant did that, so he will be joining Williams F1 this season. He’ll be joined as an F1 rookie by those two recent F2 champions that had not moved up after their title-winning seasons, Nyck de Vries and Oscar Piastri. Drugovich, the 2022 F2 champion, will be relegated to test driving duties at Aston Martin after receiving no Formula 1 interest.

, Logan Sargeant's Big Break Has Arrived
Joe Portlock – Formula 1Getty Images


Sargeant enters F1 in a very tough spot. Williams has finished tenth in the constructor’s standings in four of the last five seasons, including last year. The team has just one win since 2004, and its only podium since 2017 was the result of a race being rained out without ever actually running under green. Sargeant will not be expected to be the one to change that drought.

He’ll be compared more directly to Nicholas Latifi, the outgoing Williams driver who scored points just three times over three seasons. Sargeant’s goal will be simple: he has to score points when the opportunity presents itself.

, Logan Sargeant's Big Break Has Arrived
Bryn LennonGetty Images


Fortunately for Sargeant, a bad team brings relatively simple expectations and generally comes with a beatable teammate. Unfortunately for Sargeant, he will be paired up with a teammate that has excelled as a Williams driver through one year. Alex Albon spent the 2022 season following in George Russell’s footsteps by routinely putting the Williams where it did not belong, regularly fighting for points and grabbing them on track on three separate occasions.

It is unrealistic to expect Sargeant, a relatively middling prospect, to come out of the gate ready to beat Albon. Instead, he should be using Albon as the measuring stick for his performance. His mid-term goal should be to build himself into a lasting Formula 1 driver, something he is absolutely capable of if he continues to patiently develop. Albon has accomplished that, albeit from very different circumstances, and will offer Sargeant a mark worth chasing in the same car.

A successful season for Sargeant is one in which he scores points. If he can do that while staying within touch of Albon in qualifying and races, he should have plenty of time to figure out the rest at Williams.


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