Car Racing

Logan Sargeant becomes the first American to score a Formula One point in 30 years

At the United States Grand Prix, Williams driver Logan Sargeant ended a three decade-long wait for an American driver to score points in an F1 race, grabbing a 10th place finish on home soil in Austin, where the drama continued even after the checkered flag.

Sargeant had initially crossed the line in 12th position, but after Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc were disqualified post-race for a technical infringement, the American was bumped up two places to 10th, giving him his first ever point at the Circuit of the Americas. Williams also gained a double points finish, with Alex Albon promoted to P9.

Sargeant, competing in his first season in F1, bounced back from a tough Sprint race on Saturday where he finished at the back of the pack. It was also a much better race weekend for the rookie than the prior Qatar Grand Prix, in which he retired on lap 41 after the sweltering conditions caused him to experience intense dehydration.

“It’s amazing to score my first point in F1 on home turf after the challenging weekend I’ve had,” Sargeant said after the race, per F1. “I’m so proud of this team and myself for the hard work and progress we’ve been making this season.

“We worked hard overnight to find a direction with the car that was going to be positive, and we found that.”

The 22-year-old is the first American on the F1 grid since Alexander Rossi drove for Manor during the 2015 season, and his P10 finish at Sunday’s Grand Prix makes him the first American point-scorer since Michael Andretti at the 1993 Italian Grand Prix.

Meanwhile, Max Verstappen clinched his 15th win in 18 races this season, finishing ahead of a charging Hamilton and McLaren’s Lando Norris, despite having to manage a brake issue for much of the race.

Verstappen and Red Bull entered Austin having already wrapped up both the World Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships with multiple races to spare for the second year in a row, with four rounds still to go on the 2023 calendar.

Hamilton looked as though he could take his first win in almost two years on Sunday, chasing down Verstappen during the latter stages of the race but was unable to catch the Dutchman, finishing just over two seconds behind the Red Bull driver, per F1.

However, Hamilton had his podium finish ripped away from him after the race when he and Leclerc, who started the race on pole position but fell to P6, were disqualified after post-race checks by the FIA’s Technical team.

The inspection confirmed that the plank wear levels on both cars were not in compliance with F1 regulations. Both teams asserted that the bumpy track and sprint race schedule had caused excessive wear on the skid pads under the car, but the race stewards noted that the “onus is on the competitor to ensure that the car is in compliance with the regulations at all times during an event.”

“We hate coming so close to winning and falling short,” Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff said in the team’s post-race report.

“Others got it right where we got it wrong and there’s no wiggle room in the rules. We need to take it on the chin, do the learning, and come back stronger next weekend.”-BBC

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