Sargeant: Austria “definitely a good step in the right direction, but still not where I want to be”

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It’s the Williams driver’s first race in Formula 1 at Silverstone, a track where he has won multiple times in his feeder series career – British Formula 4, Formula 3 and Formula 2.

Sargeant also achieved his second-best seasonal result last time out in Austria, P13, showing good pace as well, which is definitely an encouraging sign for the upcoming weekend.

In today’s FP2, Williams showed impressive speed, which allowed the Floridian driver to end the session in the Top 5, with his teammate Alexander Albon in P3.

Ahead of the racing weekend, Sargeant discussed how having a strong Austrian GP has put him in the best mindset for the upcoming challenge, as he recalled the main points of his last race weekend.

“I think there still were positives to the weekend, but I’m still not where I wanted to be. You know, there’s still plenty to find. It was definitely a good step in the right direction, Sunday was a pretty strong day, even the quali pace on Friday and Saturday wasn’t bad, just not getting it all together.”

“That has been the biggest thing. Number one on my priority list to get right is nailing quali, to bring myself in a better position starting the GP on Sunday.”

Asked what he needs to work on in order to improve his qualifying performances, the rookie driver, still to make the cut to Q2 in his Formula 1 career, mentioned the fact that he is still getting used to and at ease with his FW45.

“I think a lot of it comes down to comfort, and just how natural it is. For part of the season maybe it has not been the easiest. I mean, I have been trying to force times out of myself, which isn’t always the way you want to do it.

“Whereas I get the feeling that now I’m starting to drive the car more the way it needs to be driven, so everything becomes more natural and flowing, and I’m hoping that it’s linked together.”

Formula 2’s first-ever American race winner added that the positive Austrian weekend will give him a great confidence boost, needed in order to try and have an even more successful British GP:

“It’s good. It just showed me that we’re moving in the right direction, which is obviously nice to see, and I saw how much more there is to do. So, it is very positive and I think for me I can use that to sort to come into the weekend at a track that I know very well, a track that I love.”

However, Sargeant is aware of the fact that he is entering only his tenth-ever Formula 1 race and thus knows he is still well off reaching his maximum potential in Formula One.

“Plus we get three free practice sessions at it, so I can really build off that, but I’m not naive to the fact that there is much, much more that still needs to be done to get to where I want to be.”

Photo credit: Williams Racing