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Logan Sargeant

Sargeant told to 'earn your place' as Antonelli threat lurks

Logan Sargeant's long-term future is in doubt at Williams, with Andrea Kimi Antonelli touted as a replacement.

Sargeant Australia
To news overview © XPBimages

Williams boss James Vowles has told Logan Sargeant to "earn your place" in Formula 1, as speculation around Andrea Kimi Antonelli grows. 

Sargeant is into his second season in F1, but is struggling to get onto the pace of team-mate Alex Albon, in a tight lower midfield, with Williams one of two teams yet to score a point, along with Stake after six rounds.

Reports have grown over recent weeks that Sargeant will be replaced mid-season by Mercedes protege Antonelli, who is tipped as a contender to replace Lewis Hamilton next season. 

A stumbling block is that Antonelli doesn't meet the requirements for a FIA superlicence, as he is not 18 years old and does not currently hold an Italian driving licence, although the FIA has confirmed it has received a waiver request. 

If it is not granted, Antonelli would have to wait until he turns 18 to apply for a superlicence, which falls on August 25th - the day of the Dutch Grand Prix.

But Vowles is adamant that sophomore driver Sargeant will continue but has urged him to retain his seat.

"Without doubt, this is a tough field, there is no doubt about it," Vowles told media including RacingNews365.

"But as I've said all the way through, it is a meritocracy, earn your place. [Logan's] got work to do, but he's also one of the top 20 Formula 1 drivers in the world, and is on the grid.

"There is a reason for that. He is in the car, he will remain in the car and my job here is supporting him."

Sargeant is yet to finish ahead of Albon in a grand prix and has scored just one point to the Thai's 27 during their time together. 

Vowles does not underestimate the challenge Sargeant is facing when competing against the team leader.

"At the end of last year, he came close to Alex, which is what I wanted him to do, but that progression had to continue," he said.

"He had to be at the point where he is not sitting a tenth behind [Alex], but rather challenging him, out-qualifying and out-racing him, and we are still on that journey. 

"What Logan has as a challenge, fundamentally in front of him, is enormous, we can't underrate where Alex is as a driver.

"He's a brilliant, brilliant driver in his own entity. In terms of Logan, what I've been asking for him is, despite the pressures of the world, the pressures we've created, the pressures I've created, the pressure all of [the media] have created, you need to pull that all and put it behind you and make sure you're now out there fighting and out-qualifying Alex, pushing the team forward.

"Those targets effectively are encompassed in a number of other more formal ways of putting it."

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