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A Promising Talent in the 2024 Formula 1 Season


Logan Sargeant, the young American driver, entered the 2024 Formula 1 season with high expectations. As the first American to compete full-time in F1 since Alexander Rossi in 2015, Sargeant carried the hopes of a nation eager to see its flag represented at the pinnacle of motorsport.

His journey to F1, marked by perseverance and impressive performances in junior categories, set the stage for a highly anticipated rookie season with Williams Racing. However, as the season has unfolded, Sargeant’s performance has been a blend of promise and inconsistency, leading to questions about his future in the sport.

Bahrain Grand Prix

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The American driver was putting on a show, one that looked promising not only for Logan but also Williams. By Lap 10 Albon fought up to 11th place, and Sargeant was fighting for 13th battling Zhou Guanyu. Climbing up the field after the first lap, Turn 1 melee with multiple drivers. Shortly into the lap Logan pulled off to Turn 4, William’s post-race report discovered that Sargeant’s steering wheel had been the main issue. Able to get the car going again, the 23-year-old manage to limp back to the pits to change tyres and steering wheel, but by then Logan was a lap down with no hope of making his way up the field in 20th.

Logan’s start to the season at the Bahrain Grand Prix was a reliability problem that could not be resolved by the driver.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Sargeant’s race at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was one that was consistent but could not keep up with his Williams team-mate. Crossing the line 15th but finished 14th due to Kevin Magnussen’s penalties. As there not much racing action been covered at the back of the pack, as the main fight was focus around Ferrari’s reserve driver and Formula 2 driver Oliver Bearman, who sacrificed his Formula 2 pole position to cover for Carlos Sainz who was recovering from appendicitis. As the 18-year-old Brit crossed the line to score a 7th place finish in his Formula 1 debut.

Logan commented on his performance through William’s post-race report stating:

“With the pace improving throughout the race, I’m confident we can unlock more potential for Australia.”

Australian Grand Prix

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However, the Australian Grand Prix weekend was the hardest for Logan Sargeant in his racing career in Formula 1. The American driver had to sit out of the weekend due to Albon’s mistake in Free Practice 1, taking too much speed out of the entry and into Turn 6 and crashing into the wall at Turn 7.

The decision was made by the team that due to there being no chassis available, a driver was to miss the Australian Grand Prix weekend and William’s chose Albon to continue while Logan had be the team player and sacrifice his chassis and give it to Albon. Sargeant commented on the decision stating:

“This is the hardest moment I can remember in my career and it’s absolutely not easy. I am however completely here for the team and will continue to contribute in any way that I can this weekend to maximise what we can do.”

A bitter pill for Logan to swallow. But was given certainty that he would be racing again in Japan.

Japanese Grand Prix

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Back on track and eager to prove himself in Free Practice 1, Logan Sargeant set out with a bit too much power. Running wide at the top of the hill up at Turn 7, Logan span into the gravel trap, damaging his front and rear wing, bringing out the Red Flag.

And it did not get any better for Car number 2 during the Grand Prix on Sunday, locking up and going straight on into the gravel trap at Turn 9 on Lap 42. And since the yellow flag incident, Sargeant stopped for a set of Soft tyres to end of the race finishing 17th.

This time, the issue arising from the Japanese Grand Prix weekend stemmed from driver error and on more than one occasion, as Sargeant reflected on his performance:

“After that second stop, I was pushing as hard as I could to catch the group ahead and make something happen. I bottomed on the exit kerb, locked up and went straight. That moment was disappointing but leading up to it there were some positives.”

Logan expanded on his thoughts stating:

“Nonetheless, we tried to adapt to the situation by boxing again. We still could’ve had a decent result, but I made that little mistake.”

Chinese Grand Prix

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The Chinese Grand Prix witnessed the first Sprint weekend on the Formula 1 calendar but for Williams, the result was 17th for Albon and 18th for Sargeant in the Sprint Race. Throughout the Sprint Race, Williams struggled to mount an attack on the drivers in front, finishing at the back of the pack.

The race on Sunday however showed potential but fell short. After Valtteri Bottas had retired on lap 21, the domino effect took its course, with a virtual safety car and then a safety car. This change of events during the Grand Prix promoted Albon to 12th place and Sargeant to 13th, on the cusp of fighting for points. But for the American driver, Logan could not maintain the same pace as his teammate as his tyres were fading near the end of the race. Losing positions to Pierre Gasly, Zhou Guanyu, Kevin Magnussen and Lance Stroll, saw Logan fall and finish last place.

Logan debriefed his thoughts emphasising:

“It’s been a difficult weekend as we’ve been struggling to get the car in the right window.”

Even though they had a strong start to the race, there were opportunities during the safety car period which Logan and the team did not take the risk to perform.

Miami Grand Prix

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Miami, Florida, home to the Hard Rock stadium but more importantly, Logan’s home race. And the second round of the Sprint Race weekend. And with it came Logan’s best result so far this season. After the first lap melee, the safety car was deployed and Williams had their drivers in 12th (Sargeant) and 16th (Albon). And by lap four, the safety car came in and the Sprint began again.

While the action ahead between Lewis Hamilton, Kevin Magnussen and Yuki Tsunoda became the main focus of the Sprint, Logan crossed the line to finish 12th. His best result of the season so far and in front of his home crowd.

But for the home driver, every positive comes with a negative. As sadly demonstrated on the Grand Prix on Sunday.

On lap 28, Logan Sargeant was fighting with Kevin Magnussen to retain 18th place, but Magnussen became overly ambitious entering Turn 3 to keep alongside the Number 2 driver, but instead made contact, sending the home driver into the barrier. With Kevin driving away from the incident with minimum damage, it became the end of the weekend for Logan.

Logan expressed his disappointment stating:

“A very disappointing way to end my home grand prix. It was a decent race up until the incident.”

Conclusion

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The first quarter of the season for Logan Sargeant has been a mixture of reliability problems, driver errors also sacrificing a seat to add to the pain. Logan has proved in the Miami Grand Prix Sprint that he is capable of such potential of scoring points for the team, but for those opportunities to spring into fruition; Logan needs to operate at the same intensity as his two-time podium teammate, Alex Albon.

Last season there was uncertainty that Logan would be retained for the 2024 Formula 1 season, but if the contract negotiations were to begin as the driver market is currently heating up, those conversations may be more difficult than last season to retain the American driver.

If you would like to learn more news about the world of Formula 1? “Kevin Magnussen: Hard But Fair Driving? Or Too Extreme?” or “Lando Norris ‘Finally’ WINS a Grand Prix!

Image Credit: Red Bull

Logan Sargeant: A Promising Talent in the 2024 Formula 1 Season

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