The FIA team principal press conference was expected to be particularly ‘fruity’ given Christian Horner was rostered alongside Ferraro’s Mattia Binotto who has been critical of the Red Bull cost cap breach. Yet Mattia was unwell and unable to take his place in front of the media. He was replaced by Jost Capito who heads up the Williams F1 team. Zak Brown of McLaren was the third member of the panel.
The first question was asked of the Williams boss and how he felt American rookie driver Logan Sargeant had faired during his first FP1 outing on Friday at the USGP.
In a shock and concise response Jost Capito cooly announced, “We feel he’s ready to race and under the condition he has enough superlicence points after Abu Dhabi he will be our second driver next year.”
“I think he did the job as expected. He did exactly what he was supposed to do. For him it was a bit tricky first time in an FP1 session and to get used to the car.”
“I think the he was overwhelmed by the brakes especially he did what he should do and was quite OK.”
Of course Williams are owned by a group of American investors and recruiting a driver from the USA makes perfect sense in that regard.
Final F2 race crucial to Logan’s F1 hopes
Capito also confirmed Sargeant will be driving for Williams in FP1 twice more this season in Mexico and Abu Dhabi. This will increase the points he requires for his super license.
However, Sargeant’s main goal is to finish his F2 season in a strong fashion because the points from Formula 2 will make or break his hope of qualifying for a drive in F1.
Logan is currently P3 in the Formula Two championship, but the next three drivers below him are within just 9 points. While there are varying calculations which have been made Sargeant probably needs to beat these rivals next time out to secure his opportunity with Williams
FIA superlicense system criticised by team principals
All the team principals were in agreement the FIA must review the super license qualification points system. At present it penalises drivers who race in America’s premier single seater IndyCar championship. Zak Brown specifically referred to it “being a shame” that Red Bull had been unable to recruit Californian IndyCar driver from IndyCAr because he failed to accumulate enough points to achieve the FIA approval for F1.Breaking news story being updated……
"It's tremendously disappointing for a fellow competitor to be accusing you of cheating"
Christian Horner says "it's shocking" for Red Bull to be accused of fraudulent activity as he responds to Zak Brown's letter. pic.twitter.com/r2acWmm9LK
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) October 22, 2022