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Logan Sargeant: Can he stay the face of F1 in the USA?

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Logan Sargeant: Can he stay the face of F1 in the USA?

Prospect Logan Sargeant has been on the radar since he signed with Williams as a development driver.

His progress in F2 has increased attention and now the rookie driver has secured his place at the top table with Williams for the 2023 season.

He will be the first American to take part in an F1 race since Alexander Rossi in 2015, and he is on pace to become the first American to compete in a full F1 calendar since Scott Speed ​​in 2006. If he scores a win in career, he would become the first American to do so since 1978.

But before Sargeant gets all that, Dailymail.com takes a look at how he got here, how he’s raced, and what Americans can expect in his first season in the big time.

Logan Sargeant could become the first American in 17 years to race in a full Formula 1 season

Logan Sargeant could become the first American in 17 years to race in a full Formula 1 season

Logan Sargeant was born on New Year’s Eve 2000 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is the younger brother of former NASCAR Truck Series driver Dalton Sargeant and the nephew of energy and shipping magnate Harry Sargeant III.

In an interview published on the Formula Two website, Sargeant said that both of his parents encouraged his racing career, especially his father.

‘Both my parents have always supported me in my career. I feel like he always has my back no matter the situation,’ she said.

‘He’s a good and smart guy, someone to look up to and he’s a great dad too.’

Sargeant began racing at a young age and credits his parents for helping him during his career

Sargeant began racing at a young age and credits his parents for helping him during his career

Sargeant called his father 'a good and smart man, someone to look up to' who supported him

Sargeant called his father ‘a good and smart man, someone to look up to’ who supported him

Sargeant began his motorsport endeavors at the age of seven, when he started karting. He started at the championships stateside before crossing the pond in 2009.

In total, he won 12 different karting titles, including the 2015 CIK-FIA World Championship. In doing so, he became the first American world karting champion since Lake Speed ​​beat a crowded field – including Ayrton Senna – for the title in 1978.

Sargeant jumped to single-seaters in the 2016-17 season in Formula Four – taking part in the UAE championship. Sargeant finished second in that series behind South African and fellow Team Motopark driver Jonathan Aberdein and ahead of future F1 driver Oscar Piastri.

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For 2017, Sargeant will try his hand at the F4 British Championship, racing with Carlin. He would take part in a few races at Formula Renault level, but would put in 30 races in F4 taking home third place in the drivers’ standings. This time, Piastri is only 19.5 points behind him. During that time, he also took his first F4 wins.

Sargeant started karting in 2008, when he was seven years old

Sargeant started karting in 2008, when he was seven years old

Sargeant's first foray into single-seater cars came during his Formula 4 career

Sargeant’s first foray into single-seater cars came during his Formula 4 career

The following year, Sargeant dedicated his season to the Formula Renault series. Competing in the R-ace GP, the 21-year-old won three races and finished fourth behind Max Fewtrell, Christian Lundgaard, and Ye Yifei. Again, he finished convincingly ahead of Piastri.

In 2019, Sargeant returned to an FIA series with the return of Carlin for the Formula Three season. In a field of 34 total drivers, Sargeant finished 19th – ahead of Teppei Natori, but behind teammate Felipe Drugovich.

That season also featured a podium finish at the Macau Grand Prix and he raced alongside the likes of Robert Shwartzman, Marcus Armstrong, Jehan Daruvala, Juri Vips, Christian Lundgaard, Liam Lawson, and Yuki Tsunoda.

In 2019, Sargeant jumped to Formula Three for a full season - racing alongside Carlin

In 2019, Sargeant jumped to Formula Three for a full season – racing alongside Carlin

For 2020, looking for a new challenge, Sargeant switched places and joined Prema Racing – partnered with Piastri – in Formula 3.

The season was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning the change and cancellation of races in Sochi, Bahrain, and Zandvoort.

That year, Piastri edged out Sargeant with the Australian finishing first and the American third with Frenchman Theo Pourchaire between them. Sargeant took the same number of race wins as Piastri – taking home silverware at both Silverstone and Spa.

In the revised 2020 season, Sargeant races with Prema Racing alongside Oscar Piastri

In the revised 2020 season, Sargeant races with Prema Racing alongside Oscar Piastri

Although it was hoped for Sargeant to make the jump to F2 in 2021, he said he would not be able to make that move – citing financial reasons. He returned to Formula Three with a more underpowered Charouz Racing car. That season, he finished seventh. He was called up for three F2 races with HWA Racelab in Jeddah, failing to finish in the points.

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At this time Williams Racing noticed Sargeant. They announced that the young driver will join the Williams Driver Academy at the 2021 United States Grand Prix. At the end of the F1 season that year, he took part in post-season testing.

In 2022, he finally made the jump to Formula Two – returning to Carlin with Liam Lawson.

In his first season as a Williams Academy driver, Sargeant won two Formula 2 feature races

In his first season as a Williams Academy driver, Sargeant won two Formula 2 feature races

By the time the F1 US Grand Prix rolled around in October, Sargeant was in the top three of the F2 standings having won feature races at Silverstone and the Red Bull Ring.

That weekend, then Williams team boss Jost Capito announced that Sargeant would be offered a drive for the team in the 2023 Formula One season on the condition that he accumulates enough super license points.

Sargeant finished the season fourth in the F2 standings (with Lawson leading him by one point), and earned enough SL points for the seat.

It was confirmed in late November that Sargeant will race alongside Alexander Albon in the Williams – racing No. 2, a number not seen in F1 since Stoffel Vandoorne in 2018.

It was announced in Austin that Sargeant could race for Williams if he got his super licence

It was announced in Austin that Sargeant could race for Williams if he got his super licence

After finishing fourth in the driver standings in Formula 2, Williams confirmed Sargeant's seat

After finishing fourth in the driver standings in Formula 2, Williams confirmed Sargeant’s seat

So, what should Americans expect from Sargeant in his first Formula One season? It might be worth comparing him to the guy he’s replacing to get a decent idea of ​​a baseline expectation.

In his first full season in Formula Two (then GP2), Nicholas Latifi took a single podium and finished 16th out of 26 drivers. Before that, he had one season in Italian Formula Three and two full seasons worth of experience in FIA Formula Three racing.

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That’s roughly the same amount of time Sargeant spent in the series before he jumped to F2. But in his first full F2 season, the new Williams man managed two feature race wins, a feature race podium, and a sprint race podium.

It is hard to say whether Sargeant will immediately do better than Latifi, but it is worth noting that Latifi’s best season in F2 was his fourth full season in that division.

Sargeant has had a few F1 car tests in the past, so he doesn't know its speed and power

Sargeant has had a few F1 car tests in the past, so he doesn’t know its speed and power

It will also depend on the car Sargeant drives – especially considering the turmoil that has surrounded Williams in recent years.

Since 2020, there have been many changes in ownership and leadership of Williams’ development following the sale of the team.

A further wrench was thrown into the development when Jost Capito announced that he would be stepping down as team principal.

In each of the last three seasons, Williams have finished in the bottom three of the constructors’ championship – including the two seasons in which they finished last.

A wrench was thrown into Williams' development in 2023 when Jost Capito stepped down

A wrench was thrown into Williams’ development in 2023 when Jost Capito stepped down

It’s hard to see any big improvements coming next year, especially considering the team’s eleven point finishes and one podium in the last three seasons with a total of 61 Grands Prix.

So what remains is how Sargeant drives the car. Alex Albon’s car scored five podium finishes last season – including a ninth-placed finish by Nyck de Vries at Monza – so if the two cars are even, it could be that a driver like Sargeant can put it in points.

Hopes of Sargeant breaking the record of four wins in a rookie season set by Lewis Hamilton with McLaren in 2007 are likely to be a fruitless exercise.

For now, expect Sargeant to use this season to set a baseline for any future success.

Fans shouldn't expect much, but Sargeant might surprise us all this upcoming F1 season

Fans shouldn’t expect much, but Sargeant might surprise us all this upcoming F1 season