Williams will complete its 2023 driver lineup with American rookie Logan Sargeant – but only if he can secure a mandatory Formula 1 super license.
Team boss Jost Capito said the 21-year-old did what was “expected” of him in Friday free practice in Austin to team up with Alex Albon next year.
“We feel he’s ready to race and, under the condition that he has enough super licence points after Abu Dhabi, he will be our second driver next year,” he said.
Sargeant, already the team’s key development driver, is currently third overall in Formula 2 and on course to complete the tally of 30 requisite points.
“We believe he’s absolutely ready to get into Formula 1,” Capito added.
“With Alex, we can have a rookie as well because he (Albon) is still young but also a very experienced driver who is established so well in the team. So we can put a rookie alongside him.”
According to reports, even if Sargeant ultimately does fall short on super license points, further outings in free practice sessions this year and potentially even participation in an Asian winter series should get him across the line.
However, Red Bull had intended to put Indycar star Colton Herta in an Alpha Tauri seat next year but could not convince the FIA to grant him a super license.
“I think it’s another topic that we perhaps need to have a look at,” said Red Bull boss Christian Horner when asked about the super license issue.
McLaren supremo Zak Brown agrees: “I think it was a shame not to get Colton into the sport.
“What we need to do is come out of the backside of this, learn from it and see what we need to do – and, as we need to do with other regulations from time to time, modify them.”