RACE DEBRIEF

    Logan Sargeant is hopeful that his performances across recent race weekends have bolstered his chances of retaining his place at Williams in 2024, with the American’s seat the only place still to be confirmed for next year’s grid.

    While there have been ups and downs for Sargeant during his rookie season in the sport, the 22-year-old has enjoyed an upturn in form during the latter stages of the campaign. He scored his first point on home soil at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, while a strong qualifying performance caught the eye in Las Vegas, with Sargeant and team mate Alex Albon sharing the third row of the grid.

    READ MORE: ‘Finally I got it all together!’ – Sargeant thrilled with breakthrough qualifying display in Las Vegas

    The squad were unable to follow up that level of performance in Saturday night’s race – with both drivers finishing outside of the points – but Sargeant believes that the outing on Friday was a deserved reward for their hard work.

    When asked on media day ahead of the season finale in Abu Dhabi about the secret of Williams’ qualifying in Las Vegas, Sargeant responded with a smile: “Honestly, probably the long straights! I think, going into the weekend, we knew it would be a track that suited our car.

    "I think generally as well the lower temperatures helped us be able to get the car in a better window. Very slippery down the straights as well which helped us compare to the others.

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 17: Logan Sargeant of United States driving the (2) Williams FW45
    Sargeant enjoyed his best qualifying of the year at the Las Vegas Grand Prix

    “It was quite nice because for the first time in a long time, going into qualifying, we knew we had a bit of a buffer to the cut-off, and it just allowed me to sort of build a bit nicer lap after lap, get through Q1, keep building on that in Q2 and then, by the time we got to Q3, we [were] in a really good place.

    “I think for the team to start fifth and sixth, third row on the grid, was obviously a huge reward to everyone in the team for the hard work, and we did put a lot of work into that weekend, so the fact that paid off was nice, but disappointed that didn’t carry out on Saturday.”

    READ MORE: Williams drivers reveal crucial factor that ‘killed’ their chance of scoring points in Las Vegas

    With just one race remaining in 2023, Sargeant does not yet know if he will be returning next season. Pushed on whether his P6 grid slot in Las Vegas had made him more confident of securing his seat for 2024, Sargeant said: "It’s a good question. Honestly I don’t know but I think, for me, it’s just a case of taking it race by race.

    “I feel like, from a driving point of view, everything’s been getting much, much better in the past however many rounds. I’m just trying to do my job the best I can and I think, with how it’s been going recently, I don’t see any issues.”

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 15: Alexander Albon of Thailand and Williams and Logan Sargeant of the
    Albon and Sargeant will be hoping to repeat their Las Vegas qualifying success in Abu Dhabi

    While scoring his debut point in Austin was a memorable moment for Sargeant, he has singled out his qualifying performance at the Las Vegas Strip Circuit as the highlight of his campaign so far.

    “I think to be able to finally put it together over three qualifying sessions was really nice, helped by the fact we had a quick car in Vegas, for sure,” he explained. “But yeah, that was definitely my highlight.”

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    And in terms of the biggest lesson learned during his first year in F1, Sargeant drew focus to the level of commitment required for every race weekend.

    “The biggest thing for me is appreciating the level of effort that needs to go into it to be able to perform at such a level every single day,” the Williams man concluded.

    “Like Oscar [Piastri] said, you can get away on a semi-average day in junior formulas, you’re still right at the front, whereas here it’s not the case. It’s about constantly trying to be able to perform at that level, day in and day out, and I think that’s been the biggest thing.”

    While Sargeant looks to secure his seat for 2024, it also remains all to play for for Williams in Abu Dhabi in terms of the constructors' championship. The team arrive into the season finale in seventh place on 28 points, giving them a seven-point advantage over closest rivals AlphaTauri.