Formula One is a fast-paced sport and teams down the pecking order change drivers regularly hoping to strike gold and find the next F1 champion. This year has been no different and there are three Formula One 2023 rookies who have started their careers.
So far, the performances have been lacklustre and with more experienced drivers wating in the wings like Daniel Ricardo and Mick Schumacher, the three rookies may find their F1 careers short lived. But who is most likely to be dropped and who might scrape through and get a drive next season?
Let’s explore the Formula One 2023 Rookies and find out how good they are.
Logan Sargeant – Williams
Sargeant joined Williams for the 2023 Formula One World Championship and at 22 he is the second youngest driver on the grid (behind Oscar Piastri).
Like other F1 drivers, Logan Sargeant has raced in the lower Formula Series and had frankly mixed results.
Logan Sargeant’s Experience
In Formula 4 he had a poor first season, winning no races and finishing behind his teammate. In his second season he joined the more competitive Carlin team, winning two races and finishing third in the championship – again behind his teammate (who happened to be Oscar Piastri).
Sargeant then moved to Formula Renault and won three races and finished third overall before moving to Formula 3 in 2019. His first season in Formula 3 was poor and he finished 19th overall. In 2020 he switched teams and finished 3rd in the standings.
In 2021, Sargeant who couldn’t secure funding into Formula 2 with his results again raced in Formula 3 and finished 7th overall. He did however get a drive towards the end of the Formula 2 season and completed two races.
This set the stage for a full Formula 2 season in 2022 and he finished a respectable but not remarkable 4th place.
Logan Sargeant – Formula One 2023 Rookies
Some drivers are incredibly lucky and despite having never won any of his previous Formula Series championships he was given a Williams seat over the much more experienced and accomplished Mick Schumacher.
In Formula One, politics play a large part in why drivers are selected and Sargeant represented a big financial opportunity with American sponsors. Initially he didn’t even have the super-licence points required by the FIA to race in Formula One but thanks to Williams allowing Sargeant a lot of track time he was able to scrape together the points needed.
How Has Logan Sargeant Done So Far in Formula One?
Sargeant replaced the hopelessly poor Nicolas Latifi, so any results he can obtain for Williams will be seen as a plus. Unfortunately, he seems to want to emulate Latifi and is consistently outperformed by his teammate Albon and the remainder of the Formula One roster.
If someone is driving slowly at the back of the standings, it will almost always be Logan Sargeant. While the Williams car isn’t great by any stretch of the imagination, Logan Sargeant should at least be competitive at the back of the field, which he is not.
Logan Sargeant’s Future
Williams is a team operating on a tight budget and alongside the financial opportunities Sargeant brings to the team, he is also on a very low salary for Formula One at $400,000 a year. This is substantially less than the $1 million+ it would take for Williams to sign Schumacher.
Williams are also keen to keep their rookie drivers for longer periods in the hope they improve. They certainly held onto Latifi far longer than they should have.
This paints a good picture for Logan Sargeant, and he will likely be given another drive in 2024.
Oscar Piastri – McLaren
Oscar Piastri is a world away from Logan Sargeant in terms of untapped potential in Formula One. He is the youngest driver on the grid and has won both the Formula 3 and Formula 2 championships.
Oscar Piastri’s Experience
Piastri progressed quickly through the lower formulas. In his debut Formula 4 season he achieved two podiums and in his second season finished runner up with 6 pole positions and 6 wins to his name.
He then moved to Formula Renault where he won his first championship in the second season. Stepping up to Formula 3 he became one of only 5 drivers to win the championship in his rookie season.
This paved the way to Formula 2 where again Piastri excelled, winning the championship in his debut season. He went on to become champion again in his second season.
Oscar Piastri – Formula One 2023 Rookies
Following his back-to-back Formula Two championships, Piastri signed with the Alpine team for their 2022 Formula One season as a reserve driver.
It was largely expected he would gain the Alpine seat for 2023 before McLaren made a move for the young star and secured his drive.
McLaren is a mid-tier team and although they have had poor performances over the last few seasons, drivers should be pushing to be in the top 10 as much as possible. Comparing Piastri fairly to Lando Norris his teammate, he is doing quite well considering it is his debut season.
Norris should comfortably outpoint Piastri as the season unfolds but going into next year, Piastri should be able to close that gap markedly.
In terms of seat security, Piastri is almost certain to keep his seat into 2024 and beyond. McLaren spent a lot of money securing Piastri and they will want to retain him to realise a return on their investment.
Nyck De Vries – Alpha Tauri
The real problem child of the three rookies is Nyck De Vries racing for Alpha Tauri. Where as Sargeant isn’t really expected to set the Formula One world on fire given his average at best previous performances, Nyck De Vries was hyped extensively ahead of this season.
Nyck De Vries’ Experience
De Vries is much older than his rookie counterparts and will need to establish himself much more quickly as a valuable driver in Formula One.
He has won the Formula E World Championship, the 2019 Formula 2 Championship and the 2014 Formula Renault championship.
Nyck De Vries has also taken part in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Nyck De Vries – Formula One 2023 Rookies
De Vries has really struggled to adapt to Formula One and against high expectations has produced a dismal performance thus far in a competitive car. He is consistently beaten by teammate Yuki Tsunoda and perhaps most damning of all – Alpha Tauri boss Franz Tost has publicly stated they wanted to sign Mick Schumacher but were unable due to politics.
“It was rejected though. We now have Nyck De Vries and there’s really nothing more to discuss.”
With that in mind, unless De Vries does something incredible with the remainder of his season I can see him being ousted from the team in favour of Red Bull reserve driver Daniel Ricardo who can bring a wealth of experience to Alpha Tauri.
Overall Verdict on Formula One 2023 Rookies
Both Sargeant and De Vries are woeful and likely won’t hold a Formula One seat for very long. Piastri is having a much better time in his rookie season and has the potential to grow and excel at McLaren.
Of the three, without question the soonest out the door will be De Vries. At 28 he doesn’t have much to offer a team and his results so far have been completely underwhelming. Sargeant may be having teething issues and may surprise me with a better second season, but to do so he really needs to find some pace because now, he is far too slow for Formula One.