Williams Formula 1 signing Logan Sargeant says he felt less pressure than expected securing his FIA superlicence in Abu Dhabi's Formula 2 season finale because he was "at peace with what was at stake."
Sargeant was announced over the United States Grand Prix as Williams' 2023 Formula 1 driver but only on the proviso that he could qualify for a superlicence. With one F2 round left to run that meant the American had to avoid finishing lower than sixth in the drivers' standings to get over the 40-point threshold.
Due to the tight championship standings and F2's notoriously capricious nature, that was far from a given but Sargeant came through the Abu Dhabi weekend unscathed to clinch fourth and secure his ticket to F1.
Sargeant was only one mishap away from seeing his F1 dream go up in smoke, and while he admitted acquiring the licence was a weight off his shoulders, he actually felt less pressure than expected because he had come to terms with what was at stake.
"I think I was trying to find a balance between risk versus reward, really," Sargeant said. "And it was actually not as much pressure as I expected because going into the weekend, I had become quite understanding of what was at stake and quite at peace with it, so I just took the pressure off.
"I knew if we executed the way we could and had the same pace that we've had all year that everything would be fine. But for sure in the races, I had to find a good balance between being over-aggressive and under-aggressive, I guess you could say.
"I think I wanted to stay very realistic and grounded and know that I still have a job to do. For sure, there was pressure on the weekend, and there was a bit of weight off my shoulders when we got the job done."
Sargeant added he wasn't told by Williams about any other targets he needed to hit this year beyond securing enough superlicence points in what he branded a "strong rookie season".
"None that I was told in particular," he explained. "It was just simply need to perform well and finish somewhere at the top of the championship in order to get my superlicence.
"I think with Carlin we had a really strong rookie season and at times maybe we didn’t execute as well as we could have. But I think the pace we showed was very strong, and we finished well in the championship."
Sargeant's year-long stint as a Williams academy member has allowed him to prepare as well as he could for his 2023 F1 debut, given the limited amount of pre-season testing in Bahrain.
When asked on how he felt he had developed as a driver over 2022, he said: "I just feel like the combination of going through an entire Formula 2 season, just learning a lot this year about myself as well as a lot of racing.
"I feel like I’ve really nailed down my qualifying performances. But most important is the amount of time I’ve spent on the F1 simulator, the FP1s I’ve done as of late, and coming into this last test - that’s what really gives me the chance to push out my comfort zones and improve the most."