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
NurPhotoGetty Images

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

HOW HE GOT HERE

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

GOALS FOR 2023

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

A SUCCESSFUL SEASON LOOKS LIKE…

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.

NEWS RELATED

Watch: Next-Generation Ford Everest makes its global debut

The Next-Generation Ford Everest made its global debut last night. Ford New Zealand will offer three variants of the Next-Gen Everest. The New Zealand range will start with Trend followed by Sport while the new flagship variant Platinum will offer the ultimate in luxury and comfort. The Platinum option features ...

View more: Watch: Next-Generation Ford Everest makes its global debut

2022 Mazda MX-5 review

Mazda has given its sporty halo car, the MX-5, some tweaks for 2022. Slight changes, but they nevertheless put the spotlight back on one of the best budget sports cars around – sales of which grew 63 per cent last year, perhaps to Australians seeking kicks through cars in lieu ...

View more: 2022 Mazda MX-5 review

This wild vehicle is part sled, part bicycle

The E-Trace is a three-point electric sled system engineered by Arsono and created to let riders comfortably maneuver snowy slopes. The part-bike, part-snowmobile is powered primarily by its pedals and assisted by a 48V removable battery. The battery on the E-Trace can provide motorized assistance up to 15.5 mph ...

View more: This wild vehicle is part sled, part bicycle

Jeep reveals its first electric car, due in 2023

US off-road brand Jeep has revealed its first production electric vehicle, ahead of its European launch in the first half of 2023 – though Australian availability is still to be confirmed. Few details of the model – known provisionally as the “Jeep BEV” (battery-electric vehicle), but likely to carry ...

View more: Jeep reveals its first electric car, due in 2023

2023 Everest Raptor: Ford Australia keen on powerhouse SUV

UPDATE, March 2, 2022: Now that the new 2023 Ford Everest has been unveiled (read about it here), we’ve had our mate Theo Throttle knock together a couple of Everest Raptor renderings for us. The first is above, and the second, a shot of the rear with some quad exhaust ...

View more: 2023 Everest Raptor: Ford Australia keen on powerhouse SUV

New Polestar 02 Concept Is A Sexy Convertible Evolution Of The Precept

Polestar has taken another giant leap away from its Volvo origins with a stunning sports car version of its Porsche Taycan-rivalling Precept concept. Called the 02 Concept, the latest machine is a sexy two-door EV with 2+2 seating and a retractable hardtop. But while Polestar has already confirmed the four-door ...

View more: New Polestar 02 Concept Is A Sexy Convertible Evolution Of The Precept

Polestar O2 convertible concept hints at range expansion

Drop-top O2 concept is Polestar’s expression of an electric car convertible; it’s not confirmed for production – but it’s not been ruled out either

View more: Polestar O2 convertible concept hints at range expansion

Driving By Numbers: Canada's 10 best-selling luxury auto brands in 2021

After a first-half in which the Canadian auto industry roared back from 2020’s lows, inventory challenges across virtually all makes and models caused 2021 to fall short of expectations. Auto sales climbed only 7 per cent beyond 2020’s 1.55 million. jQuery(function(){ if (typeof jwplayer_load == typeof indefined) { var jwplayer_load ...

View more: Driving By Numbers: Canada's 10 best-selling luxury auto brands in 2021

Ford To Split Its EV Operations Into A Separate Business Unit

Polestar O2 Concept shows how cars can be carbon neutral

2022 Honda Civic FE receives USA’s IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus award

McLaren 720S Is the Ultimate Pre-Owned Supercar

Polestar 02 convertible concept hints at range expansion

2022 BMW 2 Series Coupe Misses Out On Five-Star Euro NCAP Rating

Polestar O2 Convertible Concept: Meet the EV Maker's Extreme ‘Hero Car’

SpaceX prepares third Falcon 9 booster for eleventh launch and landing

Kia confirms two all-electric utes

10-year/1 million km warranty for 2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro, launched in South Africa

New SA-bound Range Rover priced

Hyundai to introduce another 17 fully electric vehicle models by 2030

OTHER NEWS