Williams does not have a concrete back-up plan in place if Logan Sargeant fails to get his Formula 1 superlicence to race for the team next season.
Williams F1 boss Jost Capito announced on Saturday in Austin that Formula 2 driver Sargeant would get a race seat for 2023 so long as he gets the required FIA superlicence points.
Sargeant currently has 28 points to his name but could get up to 30 with two clean practice outings for Williams in Mexico and Abu Dhabi, leaving him in need of a top-six finish in the F2 standings to secure the superlicence. He is currently third in the standings.
But Williams has made no firm decision on who would get the second seat alongside Alex Albon for 2023 if Sargeant was unable to secure the required points.
Asked by Motorsport.com if there was a back-up plan in place, Capito replied: “Yeah, but not concrete, not a name.
“There will be drivers who do not get a contract. There are still very good drivers, and have the superlicence points on that, so that's fine.”
Williams is known to have explored a number of options to replace outgoing driver Nicholas Latifi for next year. The team was expecting to sign Oscar Piastri on loan from Alpine, only for the contract saga to result in the Australian joining McLaren.
Nyck de Vries was another driver on the radar following his impressive stand-in appearance for Albon at Monza, but he was snapped up by AlphaTauri to replace the Alpine-bound Pierre Gasly.
Capito said that teams “have to play the politics” when negotiating the driver market, but added that Sargeant’s F2 performances since Silverstone had convinced the team he was ready for the seat.
Sargeant’s superlicence bid is being aided by his practice outings for Williams, while he may also be in line for some bonus points depending on his penalty record in previous years in F2 and F3.
The F2 standings remain tight, with Sargeant sitting just 18 points clear of eighth place with 39 still on the table in Abu Dhabi.
Sargeant said he would “let Williams figure out” what points he required and that he was “just driving as fast as I can at all times.”
Capito explained that the extra practice runs for Sargeant were intended to "make the risk as minimal as possible” in the bid for the superlicence, as well as helping his preparation for the step up next year.
“We want to prepare Logan as good as possible for next season,” said Capito. “That means he has to maximise the time in the car this year, so that's why we gave give him three FP1.
“It gives him additional superlicence points. They're for sure not hurting. And then he will also do the young driver test after Abu Dhabi.
“It's part of the preparation now to get Logan in the best possible position for the beginning of next season.”