Formula 1 team not named RB could make an early driver change

The 2024 Formula 1 season could become the second season in a row to feature a mid-season driver switch, and RB aren't the only team that could make it happen.
Logan Sargeant, Williams, Yuki Tsunoda, RB, Formula 1
Logan Sargeant, Williams, Yuki Tsunoda, RB, Formula 1 / YUICHI YAMAZAKI/GettyImages

Logan Sargeant has struggled to make an impact for Williams since his arrival in 2023. The lone American Formula 1 driver has been severely outperformed by teammate Alex Albon, and unfortunately for him, his single point earned since his debut does not give Williams any reason to retain him for any longer.

Williams have had a down season in comparison to 2023, especially as Albon is yet to earn a point. But he has still consistently finished ahead of Sargeant, whose contract does not extend beyond this season, and Albon being given Sargeant's chassis after crashing in Melbourne could be a tell-tale sign.

Due to their close relationship with Mercedes, Williams could take on the next prodigy from the Mercedes Junior Team. Kimi Antonelli is being assessed as Lewis Hamilton’s replacement for next season, but there is some hesitance considering the fact that he is still only 17 years old.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff acknowledges the talent that Antonelli holds, and he wants to manage his progress carefully. It would not be ideal for the Italian driver to enter the demanding world of Formula 1 before he is ready.

Could Mercedes assess Antonelli early?

While much of the speculation surrounding a mid-season driver switch has pertained to RB potentially replacing Daniel Ricciardo with Liam Lawson after replacing the struggling Nyck de Vries with Ricciardo during the 2023 season, Williams too could make an early change.

The excitement surrounding Antonelli could possibly lead to him making his Formula 1 debut sooner than initially anticipated. Given the fact that Sargeant has shown no sign of improvement, Mercedes are rumored to be considering loaning Antonelli to Williams for the rest of the year and having him drive alongside Albon.

If the two teams were to mutually agree on that course of action, Sargeant would likely race for Williams in the Miami Grand Prix, his home race, next weekend, before being replaced ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola Circuit two weeks later. Then Antonelli would have 18 races left this season to show what he is capable of -- and if he is ready for a 2025 Mercedes seat.

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With Williams likely not expecting anything spectacular from the Sargeant anytime soon, they should be willing to make the switch. The FW46 has yet to score a point this season and the potential reward they could earn from taking on Antonelli may be well worth it.