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Sargeant sees USGP point as bonus but keen to build momentum

Logan Sargeant was told about his first point in Formula 1 on a plane home from the United States Grand Prix to Florida, but while obviously delighted the young American is more focused on building momentum from a strong performance.

Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc’s disqualifications post-race promoted Sargeant from 12th to 10th in the final classification, earning him the first point of his F1 career. The Williams driver was also just a matter of seconds behind teammate Alex Albon across the line after a strong performance, and he says the consistent pace he showed was more encouraging than the end result.

“I was halfway through my trip from Austin to Florida, going home to see the family for a couple of days,” Sargeant said. “James (Vowles, team principal) called me. I sort of already had a sense as someone had texted me earlier saying they’d had a hearing about it or whatever, but middle of the sky, on my way home.

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“I think to be honest it was more just cherry on top to a really good Sunday, so I was already very happy with the race we’d just had. I felt I’d performed very well, and for me to get my first point, and for the team to get three at this point of the championship was obviously a nice little bonus to walk away from a good Sunday.

“Obviously everyone’s excited, happy, I’m still at the point where I want to do it crossing the line in the top 10, but still it was a very nice bonus to what was already a really good Sunday. I’m sure everyone was happy to get that out of the way and move forward from that, it’s very much a momentum sport, so to try and use that to go on and keep progressing forward.”

Sargeant says he is starting to see the benefit of the experience he is gaining this year, having avoided the sort of error that has overshadowed former strong showings.

“I was quite happy with how Friday went at COTA — bar the fact I didn’t get a clean lap together in qualifying — but the fact I was able to find the pace at a sprint weekend at a track I didn’t know well was nice,” he said.

“Not overstepping and making a mistake, it’s all moving in the right direction in that sense, and I think as well there were points in the race where — I made a mistake in Singapore when the tires were degrading and it got to a point in Austin where through the second stint the tires were going and I could feel a sense that I was at risk and was quite vocal to change. I think in the past I wouldn’t have been — I would have just sort of let it catch me out, whereas I knew we needed to get to the last stint, and it’s little things like that that can help you move forward and not make mistakes.

“For sure (experience helps). Just knowing how difficult the car can become to drive when the tires are going off just gave me a sense of, ‘they want me to keep going but now is the time to stop’ — that’s from previous errors.”

Story originally appeared on Racer