Williams’ quest to fill the vacancies in their team ahead of the 2023 season has not been a straightforward one, with it taking until the final race of the season for their driver lineup to be decided and until last week for Jost Capito’s replacement as team principal to be announced.
It became clear midway through last season that unfortunately for Nicholas Latifi, his performance levels meant he must be replaced for 2023 if Williams are to move forward.
The team decided to appoint Logan Sargeant as his replacement, but this move was complex because the American did not have enough super licence points to race in Formula 1.
It went right down to the wire for Sargeant, who just managed to take his points tally over the required threshold buy securing a high enough finishing position in the F2 championship at the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
Williams sporting director Sven Smeets has now admitted to Motorsport.com that Sargeant’s move to the team was actually fast tracked, as the original plan saw him stay in F2 for another season.
“We had a two-year plan with Logan in F2. I think that’s how everybody starts,” said Smeets.
“When the season started, very quickly and especially Silverstone and the races after that, we started to see the potential that we maybe didn’t have to do two seasons with him in F2.
“We didn’t say to him ‘you need to win F2 or you need to be second’, it was just his progression in F2, the raw speed he has shown in one lap, and himself maturing.
“It was also how he develops here in the sim sessions, doing his physical camps we have for them, doing the media training. All that was starting to go in a direction that, by summertime, we saw him as becoming one of our contenders.”
It was initially rumoured that Williams were going to try to sign Nyck de Vries to replace Latifi, after the Dutchman heroically stood in for Alex Albon in Monza and outperformed his temporary Canadian teammate.
De Vries eventually signed for AlphaTauri, leaving the door wide open for Sargeant to make his dream move to Formula 1.
With James Vowles at the helm and a new exciting driver in the car, the future looks promising for Williams, who are looking to return to the midfield after a prolonged spell at the back of the grid.