Logan Sargeant “deserves” at least until the end of this season to prove he has what it takes in Formula 1.
That is the view of the American rookie’s Williams boss James Vowles, as the pressure builds on Sargeant to cut out his crashes and mistakes or risk losing his race seat – the last unconfirmed cockpit on the 2024 grid.
Team performance boss Dave Robson admits the crashes have left Williams short of spare parts for the final six grands prix of this season.
“We are now using parts that have already been manufactured,” he said. “That may mean we have to use old specifications for one part or another.
“The logistics and freight of how we get spare parts to the individual race tracks on this overseas tour is also more difficult,” he is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.
Vowles admits that running out of spare parts is also partly down to the team.
“Our production facilities are at the same level as they were 20 years ago,” he said. “We currently only have two autoclaves running for carbon fibre parts.
“To refresh the inventory of parts to the latest specification, we would have to outsource orders. That takes time and three times as much money,” Vowles explained.
“I want that, but it’s better to put money into the cars for 2024 and 2025.”
As for the struggling 22-year-old Sargeant, Vowles admits he has some patience for the rookie.
“Logan deserves this,” he said when asked if Sargeant will at least get until the end of the season to improve.
“It’s his first year in Formula 1. Others had two years and had accidents in the second season too. Formula 1 is a difficult business for rookies.
“They can hardly prepare for it and have to learn on the front line.”
And Vowles says there are plenty of signs that Sargeant actually can cope with F1.
“He did the three practice sessions at Suzuka as I would hope from him,” he said. “In his Q1 lap, he was almost exactly as fast as Alex up until the accident.
“That shows that he has the speed.”