Williams boss James Vowles says Logan Sargeant has "clear targets" to hit if he wants to keep his seat for 2024 - but that the team "wants him in the car next year."
Rookie Sargeant has come under pressure for a series of poor performances in recent races, including crashing out in qualifying at the Dutch Grand Prix having made Q3 for the first time.
Liam Lawson, Mick Schumacher, and Felipe Drugovich have been touted as potential replacements for the Floridian if he is not kept on by the team but Vowles has suggested that the first option for the team is to continue with Sargeant for 2024.
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Sargeant's Vowles targets
"Logan has very clear targets that he has to hit before the end of the season and we're working with him continuously," said Vowles on Williams' post-race Vowles Verdict.
"That's the important point: we're working with him. We want him to succeed, and we want him in the car next year. This is very much on us as well.
"We have taken someone straight from Formula 2 without any significant testing, put a day and a half in Bahrain in this car, and then wished them well on a season that has been awfully challenging for rookie drivers, full stop.
"We will continue to work with Logan and invest in Logan, as we want him to succeed. He's on a journey with us as Williams.
"Logan is not on the same aerodynamic specification as Alex.
"We have updates that are on Alex's car that are not on Logan's due to the amount of attrition we've had this year. So often when you see a performance offset, it's not quite what it would seem on the timing pages.
"We have a young driver programme that we will continue to invest in. Only at the point where all of us come to the conclusion that we've reached the end of that road will we make any decisions.
"But we're nowhere near that yet."
Sargeant crashed heavily in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix, but Vowles was impressed with his progression throughout practice up until the Q1 incident.
"If we look at the case of Suzuka, he did a build-up across the weekend, and as he went into FP3. he did a time that matched Alex," said Vowles.
"As we go into qualifying until the accident, he was within a tenth of Alex's performance as well, at one of the trickiest circuits of the season.
"So, the progress is there in certain forms, but very clearly being marred by a number of other issues and accidents that have appeared as well."