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Logan Sargeant

Sargeant issues distraction reaction as Antonelli rumours persist

Logan Sargeant has said he is "comfortable" at Williams despite recent speculation he may not hold on to his F1 drive until the end of the season.

Sargeant Miami
To news overview © XPBimages

Logan Sargeant has asserted that the rumours linking Andrea Kimi Antonelli to his Williams seat are not a distraction as talk of him being replaced by the Mercedes junior intensifies.

The 23-year-old has come under increasing pressure over his performance for the Grove-based team since he made his F1 debut at the start of 2023.

Many pundits contended towards the end of the year that he should not be retained for this season. Williams, however, stuck by the American and gave him a second season to prove himself.

That faith took a blow at the Australian Grand Prix when team principal James Vowles opted to stand Sargeant down for the weekend, with Alex Albon being provided his chassis after he terminally damaged his own in practice.

Since then, speculation has mounted that Sargeant's days at Williams are numbered, with Antonelli increasingly linked to his seat. 

Further compounding those suggestions, there have been reports in recent days of an FIA super licence exception being submitted to allow the F2 driver to race in F1 before he turns 18 - with the implication being, if granted, he would take over Sargeant's FW46 mid-season.

"I'm just doing my job to the best I can," the Williams driver replied when asked by RacingNews365 how he was handling the pressure from the persistent rumours. 

Sargeant then denied that such chatter was becoming a distraction: "No, I wouldn't say so. I talk to James [Vowles] internally. I talk to my managers. I'm comfortable," before refusing to say whether he had been given any assurances by the team. "That's all internal talk, so I'm not going to say."

The speculation reached new heights over the Miami Grand Prix weekend, Sargeant's home F1 race, with many suggesting it could be his last in the series - if Antonelli is granted the super licence exception in time for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola.

That, however, is not believed to be a workable timeline and Vowles moved over the weekend to distance himself and the team from those rumours.

Vowles did, however, confirm Sargeant has clear targets to reach in closing the performance gap on team-mate Alex Albon. The team principal was clear in his expectations, saying the American driver needs to "earn his seat".

Sargeant, meanwhile, was set on tuning out the noise, opting to focus on the positives of a difficult weekend. The 23-year-old highlighted recent improvements since his benching in Melbourne.

"Jumping in [for] FP1 this weekend is the most comfortable I've felt all year, and I feel like I was straightaway on it," he explained.

"And if I look since Australia, I feel like it's been going relatively well on the pace front."

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix - FP2