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The Lottery of the 2024 F1 Grid – Who Will Compete with Williams Next Season?

Written by Maria Fashchevskaya, Edited by Meghana Sree

As AlphaTauri has announced their driver lineup for the 2024 Formula One season, only one seat is left to be filled for next season. Williams Racing has yet to announce who will be Alex Albon’s teammate next year, with the American F1 rookie Logan Sargeant filling that seat till the end of the current season. However, it does look like despite his lacking performance – crashing out in all of the races post-summer break – Sargeant can keep his seat at Williams.

Sargeant during the Japanese Grand Prix. Image Credits: Clive Mason/Getty Images

“Logan has very clear targets that he has to hit before the end of the season and we are working with him continuously. That is the important point,” said Williams’ Team Principal James Vowels, following the Japanese Grand Prix, in his “Vowles Verdict”. He added: “We want him to succeed, and we want him in the car next year. This is very much on us as well.”

The progress seemed to be evident as well. Until his accident in qualifying at the Japanese Grand Prix, Sargeant matched and even outpaced his teammate by 0.111s in the final practice “at one of the trickiest circuits of the season.” “So, the progress is there in certain forms, but very clearly being marred by a number of other issues and accidents that have appeared as well,” Vowles stated.

The Possibility of a Change of Heart: Who Could Replace Logan Sargeant?

Multiple drivers are said to be possible replacements that the Grove-based team can look into. First and foremost, the recently-appointed Formula One rookie and AlphaTauri driver Liam Lawson might be a favourite in this race for a Formula One seat. As Red Bull and its junior team are complete for next year, he is out of a seat while possibly remaining at Red Bull as a reserve driver.

Liam Lawson at the “buzzing” corner in Suzuka. Credits: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

His remarkable performance in the last couple Grands Prix, particularly in Singapore and Suzuka, showcased that the Kiwi is ready to have a permanent seat to compete in the Championship. Scoring his first points in Singapore and nearly finishing in the top ten in Japan, Lawson is set to compete in his fifth Formula One Grand Prix in Qatar, with the return of Daniel Ricciardo being further delayed.

Another possibility is the German driver Mick Schumacher. He made his debut in a full-time Formula One seat with Haas in 2021 but did not get a contract extension after the 2022 season. Currently, he is serving as the reserve and test driver for Mercedes, while also being the reserve driver for McLaren.

Mick Schumacher is currently the reserve driver of Mercedes. Image Credits: Mercedes AMG-Petronas F1 Team

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff is convinced that Schumacher deserves a second chance in Formula One. His work in the simulator has been of great value to the team, often bringing them progress from Fridays to Saturdays. Schumacher’s undeniable efforts, even working overnight, has significantly contributed to the team’s performance.

Wolff emphasised in recent weeks that he would be happy if a full-time seat for Schumacher is given. However, it seems to be a struggle to find, as both Mercedes drivers recently signed an extension of their contracts till 2025.

Another reserve driver is claimed to be looking for a full-time seat at Williams: Aston Martin’s reserve driver Felipe Drugovich won the Formula Two Championship last year and is eager to continue his racing career in Formula One. Shortly after becoming F2 Champion in September 2022, he was announced to be the first driver to join Aston Martin’s junior programme. The Brazilian completed a free practice session in an F1 car for the team at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, marking his F1 track-debut.

Felipe Drugovich is Aston Martin’s reserve driver. Image Credits: Dan Istitene – Formula 1 via Getty Images.

Vowles might have put an end to the rumours around the Williams’ seat: “Only at the point where all of us come to the conclusion that we've reached the end of that road will we make any decisions. But we're nowhere near that yet.” However, until we get conclusive proof of his words, the question still remains: who will be the last driver announced to complete the 2024 grid?

Let us know who you think will get the final F1 seat for next year in the comments below!


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