Piastri and Sargeant reveal the biggest lessons learned from their 2023 rookie campaigns
Oscar Piastri and Logan Sargeant shared the biggest lessons they learned during their eventful rookie Formula 1 seasons at McLaren and Williams respectively.
Both had action-packed campaigns, though there were mixed results for the duo, with Piastri enjoying the most successful rookie year in F1 since Lewis Hamilton in 2007, bagging podiums and a victory in the Qatar Sprint along the way.
Sargeant’s year was far more troublesome, with some high-profile errors. But there were signs of promise as he bagged his first point at his home race in Austin – following the disqualifications of Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc – and he also enjoyed a P7 qualifying result in Las Vegas. Williams’ Team Principal James Vowles consistently stood by the American during the year, and his place on the 2024 grid was confirmed on December 1.
With both drivers now having a whole year of F1 under their belts, they will be keen to kick on going forward. However, at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, there was just time to reflect and quiz the pair on what had been the biggest learnings so far in their short F1 careers.
“I mean, there have been a lot of lessons,” Piastri responded. “I think, for me, you can't rest. Making a mistake in Formula 1 costs you a lot more than it might do otherwise.
“You know, all the drivers are extremely competitive. All the teams are now extremely competitive, and if you take it a little bit easy you can suddenly lose a lot of time, a lot of positions. So that's probably the biggest one.
“I mean, there's been specifics on driving and energy management as well. It's been a busy year. But yeah, just how competitive everything's been, [the biggest lesson has been] that you can't rest on your laurels.”
Sargeant echoed much of what Piastri said, as he gave his own thoughts on how much he had learned from being in F1.
“I think Oscar kind of covered it quite well,” said the Williams racer, sitting alongside the Australian. “But I think 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.
“And like Oscar said, you can get away with a semi-average day in junior formulas and you're still right at the front. Whereas here, that's not the case.
“So it's about trying to constantly be able to perform at that level, day in and day out. And I think that's been the biggest thing.”
With the 2024 campaign fast approaching, both Piastri and Sargeant will have more opportunities to show what they are made of in F1 machinery. In the Australian’s case, his long-term future is relatively settled having agreed a fresh multi-year contract extension with McLaren that will keep him at the team until at least the end of 2026.
In Sargeant’s case, he spent much of 2023 fielding questions on his own future, having been the last driver to have his seat confirmed for 2024. But now that his extension into the new year has been secured, he can focus on adding consistency to his undoubted potential.
“I am thrilled to be continuing with Williams Racing for the 2024 season,” Sargeant said upon the confirmation of his extension at the team. “It has been an incredible journey with the team so far, and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue developing as a driver within such a talented and dedicated group.
“We have exciting plans for the future, and I can’t wait to contribute to the team’s success in the coming year.”