After months of speculation, Williams Racing announced on Friday that American driver Logan Sargeant will return to the team for the 2024 Formula 1 season. Sargeant will join Alex Albon, who signed a multi-year agreement in 2022.
Sargeant, 22, will enter his second F1 season as the first American to score points in F1 since 1993. He joined Williams after three years in Formula 3 and one in Formula 2, highlighted by championship finishes of third in his second F3 season and fourth in his lone F2 season. That F2 season, coupled with his status as a Williams academy driver, earned him a seat in F1 when likely Williams candidate Nyck de Vries was hired at AlphaTauri in 2022.
Sargeant struggled mightily in his first F1 season. F1 is typically a 20-driver series, but he finished 21st after AlphaTauri cycled through three drivers in one car. He was out-qualified by Albon in every race, the only teammate qualifying battle to finish 22-0 on the grid. Albon scored points on seven occasions to Sargeant's one, a race where the American finished 12th before two cars were disqualified post-race. While Williams went on to finish an impressive seventh in the constructor's standings with 28 points, Albon provided 27 of those.
The bet Williams has made is that the young Sargeant has plenty of room to improve, both on relative pace against his teammate and in cleaning up his mistakes on track. With few proven young drivers in the Formula 2 ladder, few attractive talents from the past available for a return to F1, and a strict licensing system greatly restricting any ability the team may have for a more creative hire, the team has decided that betting on internal improvement from a driver that has previously impressed in F2 is its best available option.
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