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Logan Sargeant secures a seat in F1, and now has the hopes of a staff, and a nation, on his shoulders


The 2022 Method One season might need simply ended, however the focus has already shifted to the 2023 marketing campaign.

And subsequent season can have much more of an American taste than ever earlier than.

Not solely will three Grands Prix happen in the USA subsequent season, probably the most in F1 historical past, however the grid may even see the return of an American-born driver to the circuit. Williams Racing introduced on Monday that Logan Sargeant will transfer into their second seat, alongside Alex Albon.

Sargeant certified for F1 due to his efficiency within the ultimate Method Two race of the season, which earned him sufficient factors on his F1 super-license to maneuver up a degree.

On a convention name with the media from Abu Dhabi, website of the season-ending F1 race, Sargeant talked about making the transfer to F1: “I really feel like I’ve put in as a lot work as anybody else to achieve this level and I simply have to arrange the very best I probably can to be the very best driver I can probably be subsequent yr.”

The transfer comes as F1 is making big inroads into the American market. Fueled partly by the Netflix documentary Drive to Survive, F1 has been gaining in reputation in the USA over the previous few seasons. A report from August discovered that scores within the States had been up roughly 35% this season over final, with ESPN averaging round 1.3 million viewers per race.

In Could, throughout the Miami Grand Prix, the printed on ABC of the inaugural Grand Prix scored a median viewership of two.6 million, the biggest viewers for a reside F1 telecast ever on US tv. The race additionally averaged 735,000 viewers within the 18 to 49 demographic.

These numbers put the Miami Grand Prix on par with that week’s NASCAR occasion, the Goodyear 400 from Darlington. That race racked up 2.61 million whole viewers and 517,000 viewers within the 18 to 49 bracket.

That progress continued into the autumn, and the USA Grand Prix from Texas in late October:

Whereas these numbers from the Miami Grand Prix got here in Could, the scores for the USA Grand Prix got here on an NFL Sunday, which makes these numbers much more spectacular in context.

And whereas NASCAR stays king amongst motorsports within the States, having three occasions stateside subsequent season, together with an American-born driver on the circuit, may draw much more eyes in the direction of F1 within the season forward.

Nevertheless, expectations for Sargeant and Williams will should be managed. Williams completed final within the Constructors’ Championship this season, their fourth last-place end within the final 5 campaigns. The years of Williams’ prominence on the observe, corresponding to back-to-back third-place finishes in 2014 and 2015, or their second-place finishes in 2002 and 2003, look like a distant reminiscence.

However with the hopes of a staff, a nation, and maybe partly a sport, resting on his shoulders, Sargeant doesn’t really feel any added stress.

“I’ve excessive expectations for myself as it’s.”

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