If you had told Logan Sargeant this time last year that he would be relaxing in the Carlin motorhome on the eve of earning his first Formula 2 pole position and just days away from writing his name into the history books as a race winner at Silverstone, he probably wouldn’t have believed you and understandably so.

His path along the Road to F1 seemed to have been prematurely cut short after difficulties securing funding for a 2021 campaign almost shattered his dreams. Yet a chance at Charouz Racing System in Formula 3 put everything back into motion, earning him a coveted spot in the Williams Racing Driver Academy and skyrocketing the American driver all the way up to the 2022 Formula 2 title fight.

While his path to the grid hasn’t been the smoothest of sailings, Sargeant has been left humble and appreciative of the chances he now has at Carlin – one's which he once thought were impossible and he’s more determined than ever before to make those opportunities count.

“It’s more difficult than Formula 3! I'm really enjoying having so many rounds for one,” Sargeant began. “It’s been a building and learning experience so far, but I feel like I'm getting on top of it and getting more comfortable.

“I always expect a lot from myself, I expect to be at the front that's for sure. In terms of an end goal for the season, I didn't really have one set. My main goal was just to sort of maximise each and every round the best I could, which I feel like I haven't completely done. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster of a championship for everyone.”

Sargeant has partnered up with Liam Lawson at Carlin for this season
Sargeant has partnered up with Liam Lawson at Carlin for this season

Although the step up to F2 carries a certain degree of uncertainty for every rookie driver, for Sargeant there’s one element that he’s already well acquainted with – his team. Down at Carlin he’s surrounded by familiar faces having raced with the prestigious British team in British F4 and in F3 in 2019. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that he’s thriving once again despite the Championship’s numerous challenges that he’s had to learn about the hard way.

“You step back into the team, and everything just feels natural. It's not like you're meeting a bunch of new people for the first time and have to build those relationships, as they've already been established. Then, in terms of converting to their car, they've done the best they can with helping me, but a lot of it comes down to just having those experiences before you can really take that step. The competitiveness in F2 is extremely high, you have so many drivers that can be at the front week in and week out - it's just very fine margins.

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“In terms of the car, it's definitely quite a bit trickier to drive than an F3 car. There's a lot more hidden traps that can cause a bit of a bit of confusion, but once you understand them, it's quite easy to get over them. Pit entries is another thing, you can't leave anything on the table. It's quite easy to lose a lot of time if you don't push the pit entry as well as the out laps, obviously coming out on cold tyres - it's just little things like those.

"Having the carbon brakes compared to F3, that makes a big difference for Virtual Safety Cars and Safety Car restarts and and stuff like that which I only just learned that lesson in Baku. There's just so many little things that can add up to making a good weekend or a bad one.”

The past two years have provided a stark contrast for the now 21-year-old driver. Off the high of third in Formula 3 with PREMA Racing in 2020, many expected him to join former teammate Oscar Piastri as a frontrunner in the second tier. However, circumstances failed to unfold in the way he would have wished for, with funding issues preventing him making the move up the ladder and threatening him with an uncertain future.

Sargeant finished four points off Piastri and one point behind Vice Champion Théo Pourchaire Credit Formula 3 2020
Sargeant finished four points off Piastri and one point behind Vice Champion Théo Pourchaire (Credit: Formula 3, 2020)

Yet a lifeline came in an unexpected way, in the form of a red, white and blue Charouz. Needing an experienced and knowledgeable hand behind the wheel, the Czech team was eager to sign Sargeant up for the 2021 F3 season. With two victories in the Championship to his name, he set about helping to improve its overall package and managed to add a memorable third win to his name at the final round – Charouz's first in the category – on his way to seventh in the standings.

Crediting the team for all their dedication and endeavours throughout the year, the surprise season taught Sargeant an extremely valuable lesson, which crucially he’s carried forward into F2 with much success.

“Going into the season, for them the goal was to have someone who they knew was quick in F3 to help push the car forward, which I feel like we did a good job of doing that over the season, but it was a very different job at hand last year. Whereas this year, the goal is to be fighting for wins on a regular basis.

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“It’s quite a big mindset difference. I think last year taught me how, even when you're not the quickest, how you can still make a difference in the races - to put the car at the front, even if you're not outright quite quick enough to be there and just making the right decisions.”

The twists and turns weren’t over just yet for Sargeant. His impressive performances caught Williams’ attention and he was signed up to their junior programme in October last year before finally taking his long-sought after spot on the F2 grid this season. It is perhaps this contrast in fortunes that has shaped Sargeant the most, leaving behind a driver that is not only quick and with a keen eye for overtakes, but one that is resilient and steadfast in his drive to give it his all out on track.

Hes one of two Williams juniors racing in F2 this season alongside DAMS Roy Nissany
He's one of two Williams juniors racing in F2 this season alongside DAMS' Roy Nissany

“At the end of 2020, I didn't really think I was going to ever be in. Formula 2 to be honest! I was just doing it to help them and and do the best I could, but I didn't expect anything to come from it following that season. I didn't really know what to expect, I didn’t overthink it.

“I don’t think there was really a bounce back involved because I feel like I had already accepted that it was not going to happen. Just the fact that it did happen all of a sudden, you're on the up, I was already passed the down. It was an exciting opportunity that I felt like I needed to make the most.

"You have to be grateful for all the opportunities that that come your way because not everyone gets them. In my head, all I wanted to do was maximise the chance and leave everything I could on the track and if that was enough, it was enough – if it’s not, it’s not.”

Consistently in the points in Sakhir and Imola might not be headline-grabbing results, but they provided a solid footing for Sargeant to build on. Other than failing to score in the second round in Jeddah, his confidence steadily grew – from a maiden podium with third in the Barcelona Sprint Race to second in an unpredictable Baku Feature Race, despite his lack of experience with the Azerbaijani capital’s walls.

Sargeant completed the Barcelona podium behind MP Motorsports Felipe Drugovich and DAMS Ayumu Iwasa
Sargeant completed the Barcelona podium behind MP Motorsport's Felipe Drugovich and DAMS' Ayumu Iwasa

With a renewed sense of confidence and a car that seemed like a match made in heaven for the Carlin driver, Silverstone seemed like a fairy tale home for his maiden F2 pole position and victory – the site of his first F3 win and double pole position two years prior. A commanding performance from lights-to-flag saw him prevail over his rivals to write his name into the record books, becoming the first American driver to stand on the top step in the Championship’s modern era.

“I feel like apart from Jeddah, we’ve always been there with a chance to deliver a good Feature Race. Whether it has come together or not is a different story, but the opportunity has always been there to grab those big points. It is quite a confident feeling to know that quite regularly, we've had the potential to do it. Now going to tracks that I know, it should just make my life a little bit easier. You’ve just got to deal with it. At the end of the day, no one cares from the outside, you just have to crack on. It’s definitely a challenge, but you have to be confident in your own ability to to go and do a good job.

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“Winning my first race in Silverstone was obviously a dream come true. I’ve been putting a lot of work into it this season and we had some ups and downs, but the potential has always been there, so to finally go out, have a great Qualifying and extract our full potential from the weekend felt really good. Just gave me a massive confidence boost going forward.

“It feels good to be the first person from America to win an F2 race. Obviously, Alexander Rossi did it in GP2 so to follow those footsteps feels pretty good. I’m just proud to represent my country, I definitely do my best to make them all proud and hopefully I’m doing so.”

Two wins and two seventh places has added 56 points to his tally in the previous two rounds alone
Two wins and two seventh places has added 56 points to his tally in the previous two rounds alone

Another consistent weekend in Spielberg was rewarded with a promotion to the Feature Race win following Richard Verschoor’s disqualification and Jehan Daruvala’s post-race penalty. In the space of five rounds, Sargeant’s gone from sitting outside the top 10 after Imola, to ninth following Monte Carlo. Now he’s got long-time Championship leader Felipe Drugovich in his sights, sitting only 39 points adrift in second.

Recognising how swiftly fortunes can throw drivers up to greatness or down to disaster, Sargeant isn’t getting caught up in title dreams at this early stage. Nevertheless, he’s refusing to hide behind his rookie status and is bent on continuing to improve as the season edges ever closer to its conclusion.

“Obviously, Drugovich is miles ahead at the moment, but as we know, things can swing one way or the other extremely quickly. I think we’re at a really good point in the Championship. Every weekend is a challenge and it’s exciting because I feel like we’ve had great potential throughout the whole year and Carlin’s done a great job giving me a car capable of being at the front. So, we need keep doing what we’re doing and look to carry the momentum that we have from the last few rounds.

“Normally Qualifying is my bread and butter, but it hasn't quite been clicking this year. I think because we’ve been going to tracks that I don't know extremely well, so I'm hoping that I can get on top of that, which I believe I will and just be a little bit more consistent and have less mistakes.

“I think being a rookie, it's always more difficult. Even though the pressure might not be as high from the outside, I feel like we still put more pressure on ourselves than what we can feel from the outside. We all expect ourselves to be able to win, and that's what we expect to do.”