American driver Logan Sargeant finishes best among Formula One’s rookies in Bahrain… putting his Williams P12 as he breaks the United States’ dry spell on the grid
America’s long absence from Formula One ended on Sunday as Williams Racing’s Logan Sargeant bested his fellow rookie drivers at the opening grand prix of the season in Bahrain.
After an excellent start that saw the Fort Lauderdale-native jump three positions alongside fellow Williams teammate Alex Albon, Sargeant put in a strong start before boxing twice and finishing P12.
Sargeant’s appearance on the grid signaled the end of a dry streak for the United States on the Formula One grid.
He became the first American to take part in a race since Alexander Rossi lined up in Brazil for Marussia in 2015.
Sargeant rose as high as ninth position as other cars around him boxed for new tires, but dropped back after taking hard tires as the Williams continued to under-perform in comparison to the rest of the grid.
Williams Racing’s Logan Sargeant bested his fellow rookie drivers, finishing P12 in his debut
The Florida native beat out McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Alpha Tauri’s Nyck de Vries
He took advantage of a virtual safety car to box for fresh softs, overtaking de Vries and Zhou
Sargeant became the first American on a Formula One grid since Alexander Rossi in 2015
Compared to his fellow contemporaries, Sargeant came out on top amongst the two other drivers who made their full-time debuts in F1.
McLaren driver and Sargeant’s longtime rival Oscar Piastri retired from the race after just 14 laps as team CEO Zak Brown reported he suffered from electrical problems.
Sargeant also finished two places higher than the grid’s other rookie: Alpha Tauri driver Nyck de Vries – who he chased down in the closing stages of the grand prix.
After boxing for softs under a virtual safety car for Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Sargeant exited the pits with 15 laps to go in P14 – three spots behind de Vries. Within three laps, Sargeant’s new softs caught up to de Vreis’ old hards and he made the easy pass.
By lap 48-of-57, Sargeant had finished a prolonged battle with Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu to move up into P12. As the race ended, he put distance between his FW45 and Zhou’s C43, but he couldn’t close the gap that Alpha Tauri driver Yuki Tsunoda had built himself.
Albon finished the race in P10, just two places ahead of Sargeant but in the points – the first points for Williams under new team principal James Vowles.
Williams placed better than both Haas machines as well as both McLarens – as Lando Norris also struggled with his engine.