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Why BIZARRE F1 quirk means owners are missing huge opportunity

Why BIZARRE F1 quirk means owners are missing huge opportunity

Why BIZARRE F1 quirk means owners are missing huge opportunity

Why BIZARRE F1 quirk means owners are missing huge opportunity

As more dominoes fall into place in the Formula 1 driver market, there are fewer and fewer seats on the 2025 grid left available.

The confirmation that Yuki Tsunoda will continue racing for RB in 2025 means there are nine vacant spaces as things stand.

F1 Headlines: Newey 'signs secret deal' with rival as return confirmed for ICONIC F1 team

READ MORE: F1 fans vent Hamilton fury as Mercedes 'couldn't bother' with major milestones

But, even if official announcements have not yet been forthcoming, the reality is that plenty of those seats have already been all but secured.

Carlos Sainz is unsure on his position for 2025

2025 driver market chaos

At the Canadian Grand Prix, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff confirmed the Silver Arrows are planning to replace seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton with teenage sensation Andrea Kimi Antonelli, while Esteban Ocon and Oliver Bearman are strong favourites to join Haas, and Carlos Sainz is widely believed to be on the verge of signing for Williams.

Sauber still have one seat available after confirming the signing of Nico Hulkenberg for 2025, many fans have suggested Ricciardo is widely expected to continue alongside Tsunoda next year, and Alpine are likely to retain Pierre Gasly and promote rookie Jack Doohan alongside him.

Despite the game of musical chairs which has been going on ever since Hamilton’s shock switch to Ferrari was announced earlier this year, one driver whose future is unclear has been the source of very little speculation indeed - Williams’ Logan Sargeant.

READ MORE: Red Bull chief believes Mercedes 2025 transfer 'confirmed'

Logan Sargeant has been comprehensively outperformed by Alex Albon since joining Williams

The 23-year-old seems certain to be dropped by the Grove-based squad at the end of the current campaign, after struggling alongside more experienced team-mate Alex Albon since he stepped up to F1 from Formula 2 at the start of 2023.

Sargeant has finished behind Albon in all 30 of the qualifying sessions the two have competed in, and in Australia earlier this season was made to give up his car and miss the race after Albon caused terminal damage to his own chassis in a crash.

In truth, Sargeant has not demonstrated enough performance to justify either the retention of his drive with Williams or a transfer to a rival team, but his almost certain exit from F1 makes clear a disappointing quirk and a big opportunity the championship is missing out on.

READ MORE: F1 pundit reveals how close Sainz came to Red Bull return

US F1 interest rocketing

Since American mass media company Liberty Media purchased F1 in 2017, it has made expansion in the United States its number one priority, from creating a behind-the-scenes documentary series with Netflix to securing a race around the streets of Miami and purchasing a plot of land on the world-famous Las Vegas strip for a grand prix.

The results are impressive so far. Last month’s Miami GP, which Lando Norris won to secure his debut F1 victory, was watched by a record-breaking average audience of 3.1 million viewers in the USA according to ESPN.

Giving that audience a home driver or team to support would surely be a no-brainer, but neither has quite worked out so far.

Sargeant became only the third driver from the USA to race in F1 in the 21st century when he was promoted by Williams, following in the footsteps of predecessors Alexander Rossi and Scott Speed, and his inevitable departure combined with a lack of American talent coming through the junior ranks means stateside fans are unlikely to have a home favourite to root for anytime soon.

The Haas team promoted itself as ‘America’s Formula 1 team’ when it joined the grid in 2016 but has toiled towards the back of the field since then. Largely failing to capitalise on their American roots, the team even ran a Russian flag-themed livery for sponsorship reasons during the 2021 season.

F1, though, has eschewed two opportunities to welcome a potentially lucrative American presence to the grid.

READ MORE: Geri Halliwell DITCHES Horner name in latest outing

Andretti's rejection

The first was F1’s rejection of Andretti Autosport’s bid to become the 11th team on the grid from 2026 onwards. Despite being backed by automotive giant Cadillac, F1 and its teams turned down Andretti’s proposal earlier this year, saying the group would not offer enough ‘value’ to the championship.

Before that in 2022, highly rated IndyCar youngster Colton Herta was unable to join the RB team because he hadn’t earned the requisite FIA Super Licence points, despite taking a plethora of victories and pole positions in a series which runs at comparable speeds to F1 and in which Herta has had to battle against seasoned veterans.

Both snubs seem like the tossing away of opportunities to further grab the attention of a wider audience stateside, and should be put under review in the near future.

To their credit, Andretti are pushing forward with their determination to join F1 by poaching key technical staff and opening a new UK headquarters, while 24-year-old Herta is seventh in the IndyCar driver standings’ and could well challenge for the title if he is able to stitch together a consistent run of form.

With both Sargeant and Haas having been unable to capture the imaginations of the American public in the way Liberty Media and F1 would likely have hoped, opening the door to Andretti and changing the bizarre Super Licence rules to give more credit to Herta’s IndyCar performances could be the best way to ensure F1 doesn’t miss out on a huge opportunity in the future with its growing US fanbase.

READ MORE: Daniel Ricciardo CONTROVERSY highlights a new frontier F1 should embrace


Lewis Hamilton McLaren Adrian Newey F1 Headlines Yuki Tsunoda RB
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