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Mercedes to play HUGE role as Williams plan to confirm 2024 lineup

Mercedes to play HUGE role as Williams plan to confirm 2024 lineup

F1 News

Mercedes to play HUGE role as Williams plan to confirm 2024 lineup

Mercedes to play HUGE role as Williams plan to confirm 2024 lineup

As the Formula 1 season inches towards its climax in Abu Dhabi, Williams team boss James Vowles is set to gain valuable insights from Mercedes junior Frederik Vesti's free practice test.

The 21-year-old Danish driver is scheduled to replace Lewis Hamilton during FP1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, presenting an opportune moment for Vowles to evaluate replacing Logan Sargeant for the 2024 season.

Whilst Sargeant initially impressed after qualifying P7 at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, the American failed to convert his starting position into a points finish.

In fact, the 22-year-old has only picked up one world championship point across the entire season thanks to two disqualifications at the United States Grand Prix. His team-mate Alex Albon has 27 points.

Alex Albon (left) has dominated Logan Sargeant in the 2023 season

Vowles' decision to delay signing Sargeant for 2024 has come as a surprise for many, including former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher.

"Sargeant has improved in the last races after many errors before. Especially the qualifying in Las Vegas was impressive," said the German pundit to F1-Insider.

"That's why I thought that team boss James Vowles would confirm him in our interview for 2024. It was surprising to me that he hadn't given his current driver a free pass, especially because I don't see any alternatives."

Vesti for 2024?

Frederik Vesti will be taking the wheel of the W14 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

According to F1-Insider, former Mercedes strategist Vowles will be receiving detailed analysis from Vesti's practice session for Mercedes in Abu Dhabi.

Vowles is said to be a very numbers-focused person. In fact, the reason why Mercedes reserve driver Mick Schumacher wasn't given a chance in the Williams for 2024 is reportedly down to the German's test times.

Mick Schumacher has kept his reserve driver role at Mercedes for 2024 whilst also signing for Alpine in the WEC

It will be an extremely important weekend for Vesti, who will not only have the pressure of being placed under the microscope of Vowles but it also heading into the season finale of his F2 season.

Mercedes Chief Engineer Andrew Shovlin acknowledged the significance of Vesti's weekend.

"For Fred, it will be a busy weekend given his commitments in F2," he said.

"However, he has shown that he has the maturity and confidence to handle it, and I am sure he will make the most of it this weekend."

READ MORE: Sky pundit reveals why Sargeant brings MORE to Williams than Schumacher could

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