James Vowles is very impressed with the F1 performance of Logan Sargeant as he reveals how Williams got right when Mercedes didn’t.

With Mercedes, Vowles was not just looking at strategy, but also handling young drivers alongside Gwen Lagrue. In that role, he came across Sargeant when he was racing in F3. Even though he found the American to be good, the team had good set of drivers already.

And post the rejection from there, Sargeant found a good home at Williams. That move to the British outfit worked for him in landing a F1 drive where he has impressed everyone with his drive in the first races against Alexander Albon.

“From the first laps of testing, immediately you could see that the pace was there,” said Vowles. “I was a little bit reticent in wondering whether it would take him a little bit of time to get used to it. The second aspect is, it’s his first grand prix. The pressure on your shoulders is enormous and he took it in his stride.

“He was three-wide through Turn 1 in Bahrain. Normally in your rookie race, that ends up in disaster and he just dealt with it, with enormous amounts of maturity, and from then onwards, and I’m sure as you’ll see, throughout the year, he’ll step forward. The feedback is as you would imagine: he hasn’t got the experience that Alex brings to the team.

“But he has this young, fiery passion that comes with things. He wants every millisecond you can out the car,” summed up Vowles, who admits that Williams were right in picking him up when Mercedes and he did not pursue him back in his F3 days.

“My path for Logan actually crossed several years prior to that,” revealed Vowles. “He came to Mercedes as a sim evaluation driver and I was interested in looking at him because he had performance, especially when you go back to his Formula 3 performance in an average team. He was there with Oscar and I rate Oscar also highly.

“At the time in Mercedes we had a good suite of drivers. So that was where my relationship with him ended. He then, prior to me arriving at Williams, Williams funded, it’s very important to state this, his Formula 2 career, so he is now salaried as a professional driver and Williams funded him because they had deep belief that he was the real deal.

“And my reticence came from the fact that prior to that it’s difficult to really judge him. But I have to say, he’s now been in the car, I now have the ability to look at his data, and he is here on merit, and as a result of Williams investing correctly in him, he’s now a professional driver deserving driver on the grid at the same time. So it just shows you that my previous life I was wrong and Williams were right,” summed up Vowles.

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