Williams Racing Team Principal Jost Capito says discipline and data will be the key marks of Logan Sargeant’s success, as the Carlin racer gears up for his Formula 1 Grand Prix debut in the United States.

After testing with the team during last year’s Young Drivers’ Test in Abu Dhabi, Friday marks the American driver’s first Free Practice 1 appearance, as part of his role within the Williams driver Academy.

Getting behind the wheel of Nicholas Latifi’s FW44, Sargeant will play a crucial role in gathering data and providing feedback – all the more essential as FP2 will be dedicated trialling F1’s 2023 tyres. While fans may be looking at the timing screens, Capito was clear that it was not the aim for Sargeant’s maiden running.

“First of all, we want to see discipline from him,” Capito explained. “It’s not about lap time, it’s about getting the development programme and getting the data that we need in FP1. It’s all about that and he will be measured against how well he is doing this and not about lap time.

“He has a good relationship with the team and has been a lot of times in the sim, not just preparing for this weekend. In the sim, he’s pretty well acquainted with the car. He’s a valued member of the team and now everybody is excited to have him in the car at a real race (weekend).”

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All eyes will be on the Formula 2 star as he becomes the first American to take part in an F1 session since 2015. While Sargeant carried a level of expectation on his shoulders, he also had no shortage of support from the legions of home fans in the crowd.

Capito believes it is key for the 21-year-old to strike the right balance between the two and demonstrate his capabilities at performing at the highest level of motorsport.

“We think he feels the pressure as well, but he has to cope with it,” Capito acknowledged. “It’s a very exciting thing for him to get his first time in the car this season and then for it to be in front of his home crowd.

READ MORE: Which Formula 2 stars are driving FP1 at the United States Grand Prix?

“We have the pop-up store in downtown Austin, he’s been there and the enthusiasm for him is absolutely fantastic. He sees the support from the fans, so I think that it’s pressure and pleasure at the same time, but he will do well, I’m sure.”

Joining their junior programme this time last year off the back of a strong Formula 3 season with Charouz Racing System, Sargeant currently sits third in the Formula 2 standings and is in the driving seat to be rookie of the year at the final round at Yas Marina and earn crucial super licence points.

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Impressed by his young charge’s performance, Capito believes that his development over the past season should provide the perfect platform to prove his maturity behind the wheel, as he sought to translate his sim pace to the real thing.

“We’ve seen that he’s grown up a lot. I think his self-confidence is much better, his physical fitness is much better, and he’s prepared to get into a Formula 1 car now. It’s a different expectation you have of your body from an F2 car to an F1 car, so he’s well-prepared for that through the whole season as he knew that it was coming.

“It’s not just about the race results, but also the Qualifying results. He’s outqualified his teammates through the last few years and that shows his raw speed. He has learnt a lot of racing intelligence, how to behave, how to drive and the ways to look after the tyres.”

He added: “That will be a big step for him in Formula 1 because F1 is much more complicated in that direction than in Formula 2. That’s where he has to learn a lot, but he can only learn that on track. You can’t learn that in the sim. Now he has to prove that what he’s showing in the sim, he’s showing on track as well.”