Logan Sargeant: is this the man the US is waiting for?

Logan Sargeant: is this the man the US is waiting for?

18-09-2022 14:22

Then again, it seems to be happening: the chances of the United States having its own Formula 1 driver, are growing by the day. Not the long-awaited Colton Herta, but Logan Sargeant now seems to be the biggest, American candidate for a seat. But is this the man the now F1-crazy country is waiting for?

Just a roundup of the major US media outlets. With Sargeant suddenly in pole position for the spot next to Alex Albon in the Williams, surely newspapers and websites should be full of this happy news? But nothing could be further from the truth. The coverage from Europe seems to pass the Americans by completely. Not a word, really not a letter is devoted to it.

Huge popularity

Remarkable, because Formula 1 is wildly popular in the United States - mainly thanks to the Netflix series Drive to survive. Tickets for the Grands Prix in Miami and Austin are hard to come by, despite the sky-high ticket prices. There will even be a third US race next year, through the streets of Las Vegas. Organisers expect a full house there too, again despite tickets costing around $600.

The Americans' interest in 'European' Formula 1 is somewhat remarkable. Traditionally, Americans are mainly interested in 'their' sports, such as American football, baseball and basketball. Teams that become champions in these leagues are instant world champions. As if people don't seem to realise that basketball and baseball are played in more countries.


Moreover, there is no country in the world where celebrities are placed on such a pedestal as in the United States. If you have a supporting role in a Hollywood film, you can already count on a standing ovation from the audience as a guest on a TV show. Well-known actors and sportsmen are real heroes. That is what people look up to. In the case of athletes, especially when they perform at top level. Long live glitter and glamour!

The Drive to survive series made Americans realise that Formula 1 is glitz and glamour in optima forma. Drivers are like unattainable movie stars, putting their lives on the line in fast cars. Moreover, in the paddock, there are all sorts of (Netflix-staged) storylines full of drama. The country in which the soaps originated is enjoying this. This is probably why the world's premier racing class has been embraced by the US.


The Americans therefore eagerly waited to see whether Colton Hertha could move to AlphaTauri next season. 'Bad boy' Hertha embodies everything Americans look for in an athlete: a more than outspoken type, not averse to controversies and oh yes, also very talented. Hertha, winner of seven races in IndyCar, would have fit perfectly into the picture of how America sees Formula 1. Only unfortunately, Hertha is thus not coming to Formula 1 due to a lack of super licence points.

Logan Sargeant possibly did. Who, most Americans will say? Who? Americans cannot be blamed. Probably also many regular followers of racing in Europe have no idea who this young man is. In Formula 2, he may be third in the standings, but his season is generally quite anonymous. Moreover, the F2 field of competitors is not rated particularly high by experts this season.

Tough task

Thanks mainly to the lack of other options, Sargeant now looks like the main man to relieve Nicholas Latifi at Williams. If he does indeed move on next season, Sargeant does not have an easy task ahead of him. In the slowest car in the field, as a rookie he will find himself facing an Albon, who seems to have completely rediscovered himself. In advance, you would say that the inexperienced Sargeant will have a tough task to avoid starting from last place every week.

If Americans hate anything, it is losers. Sargeant - without much fault of his own - could easily become a loser. In that case, his enthusiasm for Formula 1 could turn into a huge aversion if his compatriot turns out to be a field filler. If Sargeant does manage to be successful, a bright future awaits him: undoubtedly his own episode of Drive to Survive and a standing ovation on Jimmy Fallon's Late Night Show.