American driver Sargeant on verge of F1 seat in 2023

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — An American driver is closing in on Formula One.

Williams reserve driver Logan Sargeant will get a seat for the 2023 season if he earns enough super license points to qualify, team boss Jost Capito said Saturday ahead of the United States Grand Prix.

Sargeant can do that by finishing fifth or higher in the F2 feeder series. He currently stands third, but only nine points separate third from sixth in the standings with one race left in Abu Dhabi.

The 21-year old Sargeant would be the replacement for Nicholas Latifi next season, and the first American driver in F1 since Alexander Rossi in 2015.

“We feel he is ready to race,” Capitol said. “And under the condition that he has enough super license points after Abu Dhabi he will be our second driver next year.”.

Sargeant would leapfrog IndyCar driver and F1 hopeful Colton Herta, who many had targeted as the likely next American driver, but has been frustrated by the super license points process and hasn’t been able to qualify.

American fans and race investors have longed to see an American driver in F1 as the sport’s popularity has boomed in the U.S. ESPN and Formula One on Saturday announced a new three-year broadcast rights deal through 2025 amid rapidly expanding viewership on the network.

Explore more:  McIlroy fades in season finale, Horschel wins

“I think it’s great news,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said of Sargeant’s chance to drive next season.

“The American public is really engaged in Formula One. We need an American driver. And not only a driver, but a successful one as well,” Horner said.

Sargeant drove the first practice on Friday for Williams, and the team announced he’ll get two more practice sessions in Mexico City next week and at the season finale in Abu Dhabi. Both sessions could help him earn points toward earning his license to race F1.

More AP auto racing: https://apnews.Com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.Com/AP_Sports.