Williams appears to be relying on Logan Sargent to qualify for an F1 superlicense as the final part of the 2023 F1 driver market begins to function properly.
Logan Sargent and Williams reserve driver Nick de Vries are the two main names associated with the seat currently occupied by Nicholas Latifi.
However, Nick de Vries framed himself elsewhere. Helmut Marko, motorsport adviser to Red Bull F1 in Graz, has been offered a test with the Alpine F1 team for 2021, and after it became clear on Friday that Colton Herta will not be able to secure an F1 superlicence for 2023. It is reported that discussions have taken place to ride at Alpha Tauri in 2018.
Nick de Vries is a logical candidate for AlphaTauri, who intend to give the seat to someone who could move to Red Bull Racing as a partner to Max Verstappen.
The contract between Nick de Vries and Red Bull has not yet been finalized. However, if this is ultimately confirmed, Pierre Gasly will move to the Alpine F1 team, similar to the plan when Red Bull considered Colton Herta.
If Nick de Vries joins the Red Bull family, Williams will be all about Logan Sargent.
But American Logan Sargent must finish fifth or better in the championship at the final F2 round in Abu Dhabi in November to secure an FIA super license that will allow him to race in 2023.
Logan Sargent is currently in third place with 135 points, but could fall if he suffers bad luck in the final round in Abu Dhabi. Jack Doohan, Euan Darbala and Enzo Fittipaldi all have 126 points, Liam Lawson has 117 points, Frederic Besti has 114 points and Yuri Vips has 110 points.
Williams will have to find another driver if Logan Sargent cannot get the F1 superlicence points he needs.
Antonio Giovinazzi, who is set to test the 2021 Alpine F1 team alongside Nick de Vries and is also linked to Mick Schumacher’s Haas F1 team seat, is believed to be top of the list, Schumacher himself cannot also not be excluded. Also available is Jack Aitken, who replaced George Russell at the 2020 Sakhir GP.
Another option would be for Williams and the Alpine F1 team to revive a planned loan deal for Oscar Piastri, with junior Alpine driver Jack Doohan on board.
At Monza last weekend, Williams F1 team principal Jost Capito made it clear he was ready to take on the rookie.
“The drivers have good options,” Jost Kapit told Autosport.
“It’s a good choice for young drivers. We still have experienced drivers, so I think it’s a completely different philosophy, a different strategy.”
“In a team situation, we can work on different strategies. We don’t need two experienced riders up front, so we can experiment a bit and bring in younger riders.”
“So we’ll see what’s best.”
When asked if he thought Logan Sargent was ready to make the move to F1, Joest Kapito replied: “I think he’s ready. He needs great license points.”
“Obviously if he doesn’t score points it doesn’t help, but whether he scores points or not, I’m sure he’s ready.”
Bringing the American onto the F1 grid would be a big boost for Williams, especially following the Colton Herta controversy. However, Joest Kapit denied that it was a big motivation for the team.
“That’s why we didn’t hire him,” said Jost Kapit.
“Either we think he’s ready and able or he’s not. He could do another year of Formula 2 or whatever.”