Charouz Racing System’s Logan Sargeant was left ruing a missed opportunity in Qualifying, admitting that they “didn’t get it right” in the red flag interrupted session, with the American adamant that they had the pace to do better than 11th.
On the back of his strongest round in 2021 so far – Sargeant scored in all three races at Spa – the 20-year-old was hoping to continue the team’s progress at Zandvoort, but a variety of obstacles resulted in a difficult Friday for both driver and team.
“Between this being my first time ever at this track and Qualifying being a bit of a circus, it was pretty difficult out there to get a lap together,” said Sargeant. “The pitlane is a bit narrow and the track gets really tight in that last sector, so trying to find a gap was difficult. It just feels like there are cars all over the place.
“It is the same for everyone, but it is difficult to manage and today we didn’t get it quite right and that cost us a little bit. I am fortunate to have gotten that last lap in there that got me into the top 12 for the reverse grid tomorrow.
“It could have been much worse, but it could have been much better. I definitely feel that we had the pace to be higher up the grid, but it is what it is.”
Free Practice was similarly hindered by Red Flags, with two lengthy delays shortening the session, and as one of the few drivers on the grid without any prior experience of Zandvoort, Sargeant was amongst those most affected.
“The plan was to get a couple of sets in this morning, but in the end, we only got to use one, so that wasn't ideal. It is the same situation for everyone, though. As I said, it’s about maximising what you have, and I don’t think we did that today. The plan is to do that tomorrow.”
Despite his frustrations, Sargeant has an excellent opportunity to do that in Race 1 on Saturday, with the American securing a spot on the front row of the reverse grid for his 50th start in the third tier.
“I am gaining confidence on this track with every session, and I am feeling pretty good now,” he said. “I think that we have much more pace in the car than what we showed in Qualifying - it will be all about getting off the line well. Hopefully, we can do that and grab the lead into Turn 1 and never look back. That’s the plan anyway.”
“That’s not something that I knew and now you’re making me feel like a bit of a veteran,” laughed Sargeant when asked about reaching 50 races in F3. “I am expecting a pretty physical and degradation heavy race. I think that we will have to manage quite a lot, but hopefully, we'll come away with a win.”