Why Williams’ decision on Sargeant lacks courage

After the conclusion of an intense 2023 season, Williams made a historic announcement that fell under the radar of many European F1 journalists desperate for a weekend off. The team confirmed that Logan Sargeant would be retained for the 2024 season, marking a milestone in Formula 1 history—there will be no driver changes at all from one season to the next.

Team boss James Vowles expressed his confidence in Sargeant’s abilities, stating, “Logan has demonstrated immense skill whilst under the pressure of the world stage, making him a perfect fit for our team. We have great confidence in his abilities and believe that together we can achieve even greater success in the upcoming season.”

While other candidates were rumored for the final spot on the 2024 grid, Auto Motor und Sport suggests that the 22-year-old American secured the position with the “valuable backing” of Williams’ new US-based owners, Dorilton Capital.

The timing of the announcement raised some eyebrows, with critics speculating that it was strategically planned right at the end of a working week to garner less attention. Correspondent Tobias Gruner noted, “The announcement was finally made at 5.30 pm central European time. Apparently, it was timed for the American driver’s home market.”

However, not everyone is convinced that retaining Sargeant is the right move for Williams. Veteran F1 journalist Roger Benoit expressed skepticism, suggesting that the team may lack the courage to embrace change. In his opinion piece for the Swiss newspaper Blick, Benoit pointed out Sargeant’s challenging rookie season, where he secured only a single world championship point and went 0-22 in the qualifying duel against Alex Albon.

“The fact that Logan Sargeant has survived demonstrates nonsense or a lack of money,” he wrote. “The American is statistically the worst driver of the season, with a single world championship point and 0-22 in the qualifying duel against Alex Albon.”

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