Thursday July 18th, 2024 7:35AM

Williams F1 team principal Vowles hints at mid-season switch if Sargeant's poor form continues

By The Associated Press

SILVERSTONE, England (AP) — Williams team principal James Vowles is considering a possible mid-season switch if Logan Sargeant's Formula 1 form does not improve.

The 23-year-old Sargeant is the only American driver in F1. He is in his second season with Williams and scored his only F1 point when he finished 10th at the United States GP last October. He had not placed higher than 14th this season heading into the British GP later Sunday.

“There will be a line in the sand where we have to make a decision and at that point, both for 2025 and maybe for something this year, we’ll make a decision on it," Vowles told British broadcaster Sky on Sunday in quotes relayed on F1's website. "But we’re not there today."

Sargeant’s teammate Alex Albon has scored two points this year and notched 27 last year. He has already secured a new multi-year deal but looks set to have a new teammate next year, with Williams heavily linked to Spanish driver Carlos Sainz Jr. He is making way at Ferrari next year as seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton joins from Mercedes.

“Logan all the way through has been provided (with) the opportunity to retain his seat — that’s in his control," Vowles said. “I need performance that’s at Alex’s level, I need him to be there day in and day out.”

There are two races left before F1 takes its mid-season break. Should Sargeant lose his seat he could be replaced in the short term by 17-year-old F2 racer Kimi Antonelli — who is backed by Williams' engine partner Mercedes.

In March, Sargeant experienced what he called the “hardest moment” in his career when he took no part in the Australian GP after Williams gave his car to Albon, whose own vehicle was wrecked in a crash in Friday’s practice.

Vowles accepted circumstances have not always gone Sargeant's way, but only up to a point.

“We also have a responsibility into why he hasn’t been there. There’s been several races where we have not provided the right equipment, simply because of attrition," Vowles said. “That (has) not been the case for quite a few… Well, several races now."

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AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing

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