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Vowles hints at mid-season driver change as Williams approach ‘line in the sand’ moment with Sargeant

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James Vowles has admitted the time is approaching for Williams to make a decision over their future driver line-up, hinting that there could even be a change during the 2024 season.

While Alex Albon recently penned a new multi-year deal to stay at Grove, the identity of his team mate for 2025 onwards has yet to be confirmed, with Logan Sargeant coming under increasing pressure during his sophomore campaign.

READ MORE: Zhou and Sargeant address their options for the future – from reserve driver roles to life outside of F1

Speaking at the British Grand Prix, Vowles was asked about Sargeant’s prospects of retaining his seat amid Williams’s links to a host of other drivers – outgoing Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz being their number one target.

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 30: 19th placed Logan Sargeant of United States and Williams talks to the

Sargeant is racing for his F1 future as he approaches the halfway mark of his second season

“Logan all the way through has been provided [with] the opportunity to retain his seat – that’s in his control,” Vowles told Sky Sports F1. “I need performance that’s at Alex’s level, I need him to be there day in and day out, fundamentally.

“We also have a responsibility into why he hasn’t been there. There’s been several races where we have not provided the right equipment, simply because of attrition. That’s not been the case for quite a few… Well, several races now.

READ MORE: Albon gives his take on ‘interesting’ driver market situation amid Sainz’s links to Williams

“But still, that’s on us as a responsibility. His is, ‘When you have it, we need you right up there’, pushing the team forward, fundamentally. He knows that, he wants to perform, he wants to be there, and I want to give him every opportunity he can.”

Vowles then implied a driver line-up change could come earlier than 2025, amid speculation that F2 racer Kimi Antonelli – backed by Williams engine partner Mercedes – is being primed for an imminent F1 debut.

Vowles gives update on Williams’ pursuit of Carlos Sainz

“There will be a line in the sand where we have to make a decision and at that point, both for 2025 and maybe for something this year, we’ll make a decision on it,” he commented. “But we’re not there today.

“My priority at the moment is, let’s sort out the car, because we’ve underperformed in that area. Not Logan, not Alex. Once we have a car at the right performance level, then let’s assess what we’re costing ourselves, if we are costing ourselves.”

READ MORE: ‘It’s a historic moment’ – Colapinto on his ‘mega’ FP1 chance at Silverstone with Williams

Williams sit ninth in this year’s constructors’ standings after 11 of 24 scheduled races, with Sargeant scoring one of the 30 points the outfit have amassed during his time as Albon’s team mate.

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