Martin Brundle has expressed his one big hope for American rookie Logan Sargeant and that is simply that “the world of Formula 1 doesn’t gobble him up” before he gets a chance to prove himself.
Sargeant is one of three rookies lined up on the 2023 Formula 1 grid, the 22-year-old flying under the radar with most of the attention on McLaren’s Oscar Piastri.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing for the Williams driver as he takes to the big stage.
While his predecessor Nicholas Latifi has faced comments from paid drivers during his short Formula 1 career, there have been some comments along the way Sargeant’s nationality has helped open the doors to F1 for him.
So Williams CEO Jost Capito denied it at the time, insisting Sargeant’s promotion from Williams junior to F1 driver was based solely on his on-track performance.
Ex-driver turned expert Brundle believes California has what it takes to be successful in F1, he proved it last season when he was chasing super license points in the F2 season finale and has kept his cool all weekend.
“He’s a very interesting and capable rider who has demonstrated his skills and I think he will benefit from the great support team around him,” he told Give Me Sport.
“I was very interested in how he handled the last race weekend in Abu Dhabi [in F2 last season] with the pressure of having to get the super license points he needed to get to Formula 1. He held out but you could see the pressure on Logan.
“I feel he will demonstrate his talent in the middle of the year. I think it will potentially take him a few races to settle down and then once he settles down the results will start to come in.”
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Sargeant is under no illusions about the pressure he faces as he lines up on the Bahrain grid this weekend.
“I feel like I left no stone unturned and I’m in a great place to go into the first race,” he said.
“One thing that can really benefit me is the years I’ve had – I’ve had my ups and downs and mentally, that’s going to make me a lot tougher.
“Going into my first season of F1, it will be a challenge and I hope I can bring the mental strength and be able to use it throughout the season.”
Brundle hopes mental toughness pays off for the rider.
“What I really hope for him is that the world of Formula 1 doesn’t devour him before he has had the opportunity to settle in as we have seen with other drivers,” he added.
“I think Logan is a very capable driver and I hope the general public and the F1 paddock don’t, if he has a couple of initial wobbles with the pressure, go witch hunting for him.
“In my mind, he absolutely deserves to be in the car and on the grid and I think he will do an extremely capable job for Williams this year.”