Frustration is leading F1 rookie Logan Sargeant to overdrive according to Williams team boss James Vowles.
Sargeant occupies the only set not locked away for 2024 with pressure mounting on the American to deliver.
He is the only driver to have competed in the full campaign yet to score points while team-mate Alex Albon has amassed 23.
“I think from him, the frustration has been there for many months, actually,” Vowles said of Sargeant’s building frustrations.
“He went into Bahrain – probably the worst thing that can happen – went into Bahrain [and] overlapped with Lando in terms of Q1 and he thought perhaps the challenge in front of him may not be as significant as it really is.
“What you then saw after that point in time, and Alex has grown I think across the season, and the gap starts to grow as you found a driver that’s now frustrated; his normal tools aren’t producing the quality of lap time that was there previously.”
Vowles has stated that he supports his young driver and is in no rush to look for a replacement – though at the same time is not hurrying to renew the American.
The difference, the Williams F1 team principal suggests, between Sargeant and Albon is small, echoing statements the driver made earlier this year.
“The pace is there,” Vowles said.
“That’s the thing that we wouldn’t be able to fix or repair.
“But what happens is, when it comes down to the crunch time, there are elements of inconsistency that creep in.
“In Suzuka, the lap he did was line on line on the data with Alex, but obviously it’s marred by the fact that the last corner he had far too aggressive throttle application and there’s a crash – and a significant crash as a result of it.
“What we’re working with him on is actually progression; up until that point he dialled it from two seconds away from Alex to within a tenth, and in FP3 in fact he was fastest.
“It’s actually keeping that mindset all the way through.
“We have, and I’ve said this publicly, a responsibility to invest in our rookie drivers,” he added.
“We’ve given him nearly no testing mileage – I’m used to 30,000km, not 850km – but what we’ll see is continued progress and now focus on making sure we get that consistency in that which will then deliver results.”
Sargeant stepped into a Williams F1 race seat this year after being promoted from its Academy at the end of 2022.
That saw the 22-year-old given a number of additional opportunities towards the back end of last season in an attempt to bolster his Super Licence points.
During 2022, he won two races and enjoyed a purple patch from Azerbaijan to the Red Bull Ring, though from France on his season somewhat fell away.
“He knows how to win,” Vowles asserted.
“He’s won in Formula 3, won in Formula 2, but applying that now in Formula 1 and then not achieving results creates more frustration and then that ends up with overdriving.
“Fundamentally, that’s the dialling back there.”