Logan Sargeant will drive in F1 for Williams in 2023 as long as he earns his FIA Super Licence in the Formula 2 finale at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Sargeant will replace Nicholas Latifi at Williams and join Alex Albon, who’s had a successful 2022 season up his return to F1 and was rewarded with a multi-year deal in the summer.
In his first full season of F2, Sargeant has impressed for Carlin and sits third in the Driver Standings, but will need to retain a good enough position and keep it clean in Abu Dhabi to earn his Super Licence and the Williams seat.
Who is Logan Sargeant?
If all goes well, will become the first American F1 driver since Alexander Rossi in 2015, and the first full-time driver from the Land of the Free since Scott Speed completed the 2006 season.
Born on New Year’s Eve 2000 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Sargeant had a long and successful karting career in the US and Europe, but has spent all of his single-seater career based in Eurasia.
He earned second place in his debut F4 campaign in the UAE – beating a certain Oscar Piastri, but that’s the closest he’s got to winning a championship as he went on to have a few inauspicious years in Formula Renault.
He put his name back on the map in 2020 when he pushed Piastri all the way in Formula 3. He led the championship ahead of the final race of the season but was taken out on the first lap and ended the season third in heartbreaking fashion.
in 2022 he’s been back on track though. In his first full season of F2 he’s taken back-to-back feature race wins and sits third in the championship.
A member of the Williams Driver Academy since 2021, Sargeant has taken part in free practice in the three F1 weekends leading up to the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after making his debut in FP1 at Austin.
What is an FIA Super Licence?
Introduced after Max Verstappen made his F1 debut aged 17, the FIA Super Licence aims to gatekeep who can drive in Formula 1 and in theory, ensure any drivers are high quality and prepared for the sport.
It’s not perfect – Pietro Fittipaldi qualified for one with a below-average junior career – but it has helped and Roy Nissany probably would’ve driven for Williams by now if the system wasn’t in place.
The full requirements for a driver are:
- Be at least 18-years-old
- Obtain a full, valid driving licence
- Hold an International Grade A competition licence
- Pass a mandatory test in the F1 sporting regulations
- Complete at least 300km worth of testing in a recent F1 car
- Two years of racing
- Obtain at least 40 points in the Super Licence Points system
That last requirement is the biggest hurdle, as drivers must earn points by getting high finishes in feeder series championships.
For example the top three of F2 get 40 points outright, and fourth-tenth are awarded 30, 20, 10, 8, 6, 4 and 3 points respectively.
The W Series champion gets 15 points, the same as third in Super Formula or fourth in Formula 3, and a driver must earn their 40 points in a three-season window but once they’ve got the Super Licence it can be retained for the rest of their career.
How many Super Licence points does Sargeant need?
Sargeant currently has 28 Super Licence points mostly from his F3 exploits – third in 2020 (20 points) and 7th in 2021 (7). But he’ll hope to have 30 regardless of where his F2 results.
He completed 100km in FP2 of the Brazilian Grand Prix so earned another point from that, and if a driver finishes an FIA championship without picking up any penalty points then they’re given two more.
That applies to Sargeant right now but he obviously has to keep it clean in Abu Dhabi to complete the feat and earn the points, meaning he’d only need a sixth-place championship finish. If he doesn’t then he’ll need to finish fifth in the F2 championship.
In a manic end to the feature race in Abu Dhabi, Sargeant was unable to get past a rolling roadblock in Dennis Hauger so finished sixth.
That means the pack have closed up behind him but he’s extended his gap to the crucial P6 ahead of the feature race.
Starting sixth, if he finishes on the podium in the feature race he’s guaranteed to finish in the top five and will earn his F1 Super Licence regardless.
If not, the dangermen are Liam Lawson, Jack Doohan, Jehan Daruvala and Enzo Fittipaldi and potentially polesitter Ayumu Iwasa.
Of the others, only Doohan starts ahead of him for the feature race so providing he doesn’t pick up a penalty point, he just needs to keep two of those drivers behind him and he’s done it.
If Sargeant doesn’t score a point, he’ll start to worry. In that case, Liam Lawson would need seventh or higher to jump him, Doohan P4, or both could finish one place lower if they get the fastest lap point.
Daruvala and Fittipaldi would need to finish on the podium, Frederik Vesti starts 16th and needs to win, as does Iwasa.
|Driver (starting feature race position)
|Logan Sargeant (6)
|Liam Lawson (9)
|Jack Doohan (5)
|Jehan Daruvala (12)
|Enzo Fittipaldi (13)
|Frederik Vesti (16)
|Ayumu Iwasa (1)
So the equation is simple for Sargeant. He’ll be racing for the win but he must keep it clean and stay in the top six of the championship.
If he does get involved in an incident, he needs to keep in the top five, and he’ll be lining up for Williams on the F1 grid in 2023.