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Gap between outgoing F2 and F1 cars ”too big” says Sargeant

Logan Sargeant believes the gap between Formula 2's outgoing machine and Formula 1 was “too big” in terms of best preparing drivers for the challenges of grand prix racing.

Logan Sargeant, Williams FW45

Photo by: Jake Grant / Motorsport Images

The American, who is about to embark on his second season for Williams, made the move from F2 to F1 ahead of his rookie campaign for the Grove-based squad last year.

And he believes that, while there were aspects of F2 that helped put him in good stead for the top tier, there were a lot of elements that proved to be quite hard to adapt to.

The Dallara-built F2 2018 chassis will now be replaced by a new car for 2024 that brings the support series more in line with F1's current ground effects cars.

Speaking to Autosport about the transition from F2, he said: “F2 is a great series that has great drivers, but I think the gap between the cars is probably a bit too big for what it should be. 

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“There are just so many more fine details in F1, and there's just so many more things that add into performance than just getting in the car and driving like you do in F2.”

Sargeant believes that one of the biggest differences between the series is car complexity, with F1 in particular having many more detailed control elements that are critical to performance.

It tallies with comments made by F2 graduate Liam Lawson, who spent last season racing in Japan's Super Formula championship before making his F1 debut in place of the injured Daniel Ricciardo at AlphaTauri.

“There are so many things that you can do from a driving aspect that you can't do enough to in an F2 car,” Sargeant explained.

Logan Sargeant, Williams Racing

Photo by: FIA Pool

Logan Sargeant, Williams Racing

“There's just so many more things that add into performance than just getting in the car and driving like you do in F2.  

“I feel like that's the bit you miss. In F2 you just get in and drive, whereas in F1, there's so many things that need to come together before you'll be quick.  

“And that's a thing F2 misses for sure. And then yeah, the cars, just in my opinion, are not quite quick enough.” 

Challenging rookie season 

While Sargeant had done enough by the end of 2023 to convince his Williams bosses to keep him for another season, a spate of crashes left his future far from guaranteed, and he faced an uphill struggle at times to match the high performance level of team-mate Alex Albon.

Reflecting on the year, Sargeant admitted that the most difficult aspect early on was pulling everything together.

“I think the biggest challenge is just putting it together every single weekend,” he said. “Throughout an F1 weekend, there's so many variables and so many operational things to get right.  

“It's just really hard to piece it together perfectly throughout an entire weekend. And I think that's the biggest thing. But experience helps just sort of naturally bring that together.  

“I think that's the thing that's definitely held me back at times and something I'm still trying to get on top of.” 

Sargeant's standout moment was scoring a point at the United States Grand Prix – the first time an American had done that since Michael Andretti in 1993 - after the disqualifications of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc boosted him from 11th on the road. 

Logan Sargeant, Williams FW45

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Logan Sargeant, Williams FW45

Sargeant acknowledges that while it was “nice” to be part of F1 history, more important to him was delivering on his weekend execution.

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“Whether I score a point or not, I want to have good clean weekends where I put everything together,” he said.

“And if that means we score points then amazing. If that means we don't, then it is what it is. But at least if I know that I was able to get everything out of it.  

“That's all I really am looking for. The points are just added bonuses.” 

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