The former team boss at Williams says his successor should lift the pressure off Logan Sargeant’s shoulders.
As the 2023 season has progressed, 22-year-old American rookie Sargeant has struggled to keep up with Williams’ on-form top driver Alex Albon.
It has culminated in several high profile crashes for Sargeant since Zandvoort, including two significant errors at Suzuka last weekend alone.
His seat is now the last unconfirmed one for the 2024 grid, ramping up the pressure even more – with Felipe Drugovich and Mick Schumacher pushing hard for the place at Williams.
Schumacher was even seen popping into James Vowles’ team office at Suzuka, even though the Williams boss is said to have been unimpressed with the simulator data shown to him by Mick’s current boss Toto Wolff.
It is clear, though, that team boss Vowles is leaving his options open for 2024.
“Logan has a very clear goal that he needs to achieve before the end of the season,” he is quoted as saying by Italy’s Autosprint.
“We are working with him because we want him to succeed. We want him in the car next year. We also realise that we took someone out of Formula 2, without much testing, and then wished him the best for the season.
“It’s something that is tremendously difficult for rookie drivers,” Vowles added.
Vowles, Mercedes’ highly-regarded former strategy boss, only became the team principal at Williams this year – replacing the ousted Jost Capito.
Capito now has some advice for Vowles in terms of how to handle the Sargeant situation.
“Last year in Formula 2, as in previous years, Logan only became stronger under pressure. He showed that the pressure only fuelled him. But I believe this is no longer the case for him now in Formula 1,” he told formel1.de.
Capito continued: “As the pressure gets stronger, he’s only making more mistakes. So to support him, it seems to me, it is worth taking the pressure off him and allowing him to race freely.”