According to Williams driver Logan Sargeant, his American nationality too often means that expectations about his performance are automatically much lower. The American driver believes that his compatriots and fellow competitors often receive too little appreciation, even though they dared to take a bold step by giving Formula 1 a chance. Still, Sargeant hopes that in the future more American drivers will dare to take the leap of faith and reach the premier class of racing.
Sargeant has not exactly had the best Formula 1 debut season. His year as a rookie was mainly about gaining experience, because the results were more often against him than he would have liked. Ultimately, he still scored a point in Austin thanks to the disqualifications of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc, but that was it. Fortunately, team boss James Vowles is on his side and the American can therefore try again in 2024, but Sargeant still faces a difficult task. Teammate Alexander Albon is doing a lot better, and as a result the American is regularly in his shadow. However, according to Sargeant himself, his nationality plays a major role in this.
Sargeant tries to ignore outside noise
Formula 1 seems to be increasingly concerned with the United States, but the country has hardly supplied consistent Formula 1 drivers or teams. Speaking to Autosport, Sargeant said that he thinks the lack of consistency among American drivers quickly led to a general prejudice. “I think people expect a lot less from an American driver,” he admitted. “But in the end, none of that matters, because as long as people have some idea of what’s going on and some idea of what I’m capable of, that’s all that matters.”
The young American has a lot of balls to keep up, but tries to pay as little attention as possible to outside noises. “If we look at it realistically, it’s all just completely irrelevant.” According to Sargeant, it is especially crucial that you work hard, because that is the only thing that matters. ‘You just do your job and you have to keep working hard. Continue to work with the people who can help you make a difference in your own career, and above all, do your best for them. After all, they also help you move forward, but you cannot do much more than that. As long as the people who need to know know it all, the rest is completely irrelevant.’
Switch from America to Europe is too big according to Sargeant
According to the Williams driver, his nationality plays a major role in the course of his career, because an American driver in Formula 1 is a relatively rare concept. According to Sargeant, this is mainly due to the switch from America to Europe. ‘There are simply many more obstacles for American drivers to reach Formula 1, because it is not easy to just pick up your life and take it with you to Europe. Racing on another continent simply costs a lot of money, so continuing your career in America is just a lot easier.’
Yet there is still plenty of racing fun left for American drivers outside Formula 1, Sargeant also knows. “Obviously you have fantastic options with IndyCar and NASCAR, so that might make it a little easier. Because it’s difficult to move to a new place anyway, so I think that’s the main reason I feel like American drivers don’t even give Formula 1 a chance.’ Still, Sargeant sees a bright future and hopes that his fellow countrymen will follow his example in the future. ‘If I look at the lists in karting in recent years, more and more American drivers have appeared, so that is positive. In the future we will certainly see more who at least dare to take the path towards Formula 1. I also hope that there are some who will make it.’