logan sargeant f1 bahrain grand prix review

Sargeant: Hopefully, we will just keep getting better

logan sargeant f1 bahrain grand prix review

Formula 1 debutant Logan Sargeant was the best of the three rookies at the 2023 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix last Sunday, although the Williams driver missed out on points he delivered an impressive performance on his big day.

Notably, the American is up against highly rated Oscar Piastri and Nyck de Vries, who has an extra race under his belt, for Rookie of the Year, and Round 1 has gone to Sargeant.

Looking back on his first race weekend in the top flight, he wrote in his F1.com column: “I loved every single second of my first F1 race weekend. If you had given me that sort of weekend before it had happened, I would have said yes to it. To have a smooth race, from the pit stops to the Virtual Safety Car, and finish 12th gives me a good baseline to work with.”

A day earlier, in qualifying, Sargeant was 16th, missing out on Q2 by zero! Lando Norris set the exact same time in Q1 as the Willams driver, but did so first and thus got to progress.

Sargeant recalled: “I still wish I could have made Q2, that was a bit of a missed opportunity. I clocked the exact same lap time as Lando Norris in 15th but as I set the time after him, I slotted in behind him and was knocked out.

“I feel like I didn’t quite have the right approach going into qualifying. Our car was good enough to make Q2. At the time, I didn’t know that was the case so I went in a little bit more aggressive than I should have.

“I pushed a little bit too much, especially on the first lap, which didn’t give me as good a reference for the second lap when I really needed to do it. That’s a mental approach I need to shift a little bit. At least it gives me something to reflect on heading into the next races,” ventured Sargeant.

I have felt very comfortable within the team and part of the family

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Williams were expecting to have the worst package on the grid before this season started, thus surprising themselves to see Alex Albon and Sargeant up in the midfield mix, which in the end is positive news for the Grove outfit.

Sargeant acknowledged: “Overall, the weekend went as good as we could have hoped for from my perspective. The team outperformed what they were expecting as well.

“Going into the weekend, we thought we would be the slowest team so to see Alex get a point and for us to both be quick in qualifying, it gives us motivation that there’s some good promise in the team and some good foundations to build on. Hopefully, we will just keep getting better.”

But the result is no fluke, but rather meticulous preparation ahead of his most important year, Sargeant explained: “The team has done an amazing job in terms of preparing me for my debut. We really didn’t leave any stone unturned. I’ve spent so much time at the factory this year, and plenty of time trackside last year, including getting the chance to drive in FP1 in each of the final four Grands Prix.

“I have felt very comfortable within the team and part of the family, which immediately eased the pressure. I also didn’t have any expectations – from myself, from the car, from anything. It was about going there, driving as fast as I can, trying to do my best operationally and learning as much as I could. That left me in a more relaxed place during the weekend, even if it was my first in F1, which was a nice feeling to be honest.”

It’s been awesome getting to know our new James Vowles

Bahrain Grand Prix 2023 – Preview – The Williams Grand Prix Database

Williams are a shadow of the mighty team they were under founder Sir Frank Williams last century, but recruiting James Vowles, from Mercedes, to lead the team is a sign that they mean business.

And Vowles is already hands-on involved as seen throughout the time in Bahrain, although he warns that Williams will take time to get back where they once were, top of the F1 pile, the former Merc man is convinced they have the means and vision to get there.

Sargeant is already relishing Vowles-experience: “It’s been awesome getting to know our new James, who only started a few weeks ago. He has brought this new energy into the team. I only met him for the first time at the test, but he’s been super helpful and gave me a lot of advice through the first weekend. From what I can tell, he’s fit into the team extremely well. Hopefully, we can continue that growth together.”

During this F1 season of a record 23 races, managed downtime and training is ‘valuable-time’ for F1 drivers, as Sargeant revealed: “On returning from Bahrain, it was great to sleep in my own bed for the first time in what felt like ages. I’ve been training every day to keep up the momentum.

“Alex was in the sim first and then it was my turn on Thursday. My focus was working on set-up for next weekend’s race in Saudi. I fly out to Jeddah on Tuesday. After such a great weekend in Bahrain, I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel,” added the USA’s 233rd F1 driver.
Read Sargeant’s F1 column here>>>