Logan Sargeant says he was “100% sure” that his Formula 1 dream was over in 2021 when funding issues left him finding race seats “just to pass some time.”
It completes a swift career turnaround for Sargeant, who, after narrowly missing out on the title to fellow F1 2023 rookie Oscar Piastri in the 2020 Formula 3 championship, was unable to make the step up to F2 the following year due to funding issues.
It left Sargeant considering alternative options, such as joining the Road to Indy ladder in the United States, and he even made two appearances in the European Le Mans Series.
He eventually spent 2021 back in F3 with Charouz before linking up with Williams’ academy at the end of the year, paving the way for a move up to F2.
Sargeant admitted during Williams’s car launch on Monday that he thought his chances of reaching F1 were over through this tough period.
“I was 100% sure it was dead at that point, to be honest,” Sargeant conceded when Motorsport.com asked him about 2021.
“At that point, I just thought I was going to be heading towards the LMP or IndyCar route, which at the time I was content with.
“It was just my reality at the time. That's where I felt like were my only two places that I could still turn to.
“The F3 seat was just simply just to pass some time and stay in a car, and help a team move forward and a different position for myself, let's say.
“The LMP2 races, the GT races, it's just again, a bit of fun, get a bit of experience in endurance and sports car racing.
“To be honest, I feel like it in the end was all extremely beneficial and helped me massively. So I'm glad I did it all.”
Why first Williams FW45 outing will be Sargeant’s ‘saddest day’
Sargeant got a taste of Williams F1 machinery through the back end of last year, featuring in four free practice sessions and the end-of-season test in Abu Dhabi.
He will line up on the grid in Bahrain with limited opportunities in the 2023-spec Williams FW45, given pre-season testing is limited to just three days this year, down from six in 2022.
Sargeant will get a first chance to try out the FW45 in a filming day at Silverstone on Monday, where he will split the 100km of permitted running with teammate Alex Albon.