They say there's no place like home, and we are inclined to believe whoever 'they' are as our Williams Racing Driver Academy found success at our home race at Silverstone.
Formula 2, Formula 3, and W Series raced in support of the British Grand Prix, and there were plenty of heroics on home soil from our Academy drivers with pole positions in every series on Friday and wins on Saturday and Sunday to top off a wonderful Williams weekend.
There's no telling how far Logan Sargeant may go this year after the rookie took his maiden win to add to his first F2 pole position this weekend, leaping up to P3 in the drivers' championship in the process.
After his blistering Baku showing, where Logan finished P2 for his first Feature Race silverware, the American driver went one better on Sunday, reaching the top step of the podium to ensure he will share his Fourth of July weekend celebrations with a winner's trophy.
The hard work had come on Friday when Logan was simply untouchable in his Carlin by repeatedly setting lap times far quicker than anyone else on track during qualifying.
In the Feature Race, a solid start left him untroubled off the line as fellow front-row rookie Frederik Vesti fell behind. Logan managed a perfect restart after the Safety Car made an early-race appearance and never looked threatened en route to the chequered flag, making his first F2 victory look as easy as a Sunday drive.
After he became the first American to win an F2 Feature Race, we caught up with Logan, who had the following to say: “What a day to win my first-ever Formula 2 feature race here at Silverstone!
“It’s such a historic track and my favourite circuit on the calendar making it extremely special. A big thank you to Williams for the support this season, and to Carlin for putting a great car on the ground to give me the opportunity to go out there and have a good weekend.
“Looking forward to what’s to come and hopefully we can keep it going.”
Logan also excelled on the slippery Silverstone surface in Saturday's Sprint Race. Starting from P10, thanks to the reverse-grid format, he kept out of trouble to rise to P7 over the 20-lap race, making exemplary moves on experienced drivers Jüri Vips and Jehan Daruvala to add further points to his championship campaign.
Logan makes history with his Silverstone win. Watch the celebrations!
The odds were against Roy heading into Silverstone, with him carrying a three-place grid drop from Baku. The penalty applied to his P11 qualifying position, dropping him to P14 for the Sprint and Feature Race.
Roy kept his DAMS on the black stuff despite the inclement conditions at Silverstone on Saturday to fight in the midfield. Although he dropped some positions when fighting with British drivers Jake Hughes and Olli Caldwell, Roy fought to finish the race in his starting place of P14 while managing his tyres in the changeable conditions.
However, it's a terrifying collision on Sunday that will, unfortunately, be the most memorable from Roy's 2022 Silverstone visit as he survived a frightening moment in the Feature Race. The halo kept Dennis Hauger's car away from Roy's cockpit after the PREMA hit a high kerb at Club corner and went airborne. Thankfully, both drivers were unharmed in the incident.
Although Zak was a regular on the British F4 and GB3 rostrum in recent years, our British racer took his maiden F3 podium at Silverstone on Sunday morning after surging to pole position on Friday.
After a point-less Sprint Race, Zak demonstrated his expertise of a circuit he knows well to fight at the front throughout the Formula 3 Feature Race against Arthur Leclerc and Ollie Bearman.
Zak led from lights out and again after a Safety Car restart to gain valuable experience in the championship before Leclerc inched by into Brooklands, dropping our teenage driver to P2.
Yet Zak kept close to the second-year driver to remain in second place for the remaining laps. A nail-biting fight with compatriot Bearman saw the two side-by-side out of Club corner and over the finish line, with the Williams Academy driver holding on by just five-hundredths of a second to earn his first F3 silverware.
After securing his first-ever F3 podium, Zak shared his thoughts with us: “A really good feature race today managing to finish P2.
“I lost a position quite early on during the start to Leclerc. I managed to stay in the DRS for quite a long time which was good.
“There was a bit of pressure towards the end with Bearman getting up to P3 and it being very close across the line.
“A massive thanks to Carlin and Williams for their support. We’ve really improved the car over the past couple of days and started off the weekend well with pole position, so P2 is probably one of the best results we could’ve hoped for.”
There are very few achievements Jamie had left to take from W Series, but a victory on British soil was one of them. That's no longer the case after this Silverstone weekend, where the Williams Academy driver made it four 2022 wins in a row in front of her home crowd.
Jamie was understandably delighted, saying: “It feels really good to win here and that’s a monkey off my back having not won a W Series race in Britain before today.
“I’m super happy with that drive. I got a bit nervy with the rain at one point but managed to maintain a good gap to the guys fighting behind me which was nice.
“I was really hungry coming into this weekend as this is the race all of the British drivers want to win, so it means a hell of a lot.”
The W Series double-champion was again unmatched in a race where she led from pole position after taking P1 in Qualifying by two-tenths ahead of Emma Kimilainen. Jamie's perfect start kept her out of reach in the opening laps, and she methodically built a gap to the chasing pack.
A last-lap collision between Kimilainen and Jamie's compatriot Abbi Pulling meant she crossed the line with a giant 19.5-second gap to second place to add to a terrific 24 hours for Williams – something she acknowledged when asked how it felt being part of the team:
"Really good. Obviously, a home race for, well, all of us – so really cool. I remember when Zak put it on pole in F3, and I knew Logan had good pace, and I did think to myself, 'imagine if we all do it.'
"We came straight off a training camp, so maybe that was the reason why. We all had a nice bit of good fortune yesterday [Friday], but it's just it's nice to be part of the Williams Team. It's been really good."
Jamie was also buzzing to see the droves of British fans cheering her on:
"It's just so cool. The slot we had with the race – just before F1 Qualifying – you really did see the home support. It's just so cool to have this opportunity to race on a weekend like this."
Finally, after a historic weekend for the Williams Driver Academy, our Sporting Director Sven Smeets gave his verdict: “It’s been an incredible weekend for our Driver Academy with Jamie, Logan and Zak capitalising on their pole positions to be on the podium.
“Jamie and Logan both displayed dominating performances to achieve victory in their respective series. Zak showed a mature performance to claim his first podium in Formula 3 finishing in second place at his home race.”
Sven then summed up how we’re all feeling at Williams rather perfectly: “These achievements highlight the incredible effort, determination and persistence of our Academy Drivers.
“Everyone at Williams is incredibly proud of their results and look forward to supporting the rest of their seasons.”
Formula 2 and Formula 3 will be racing again this weekend in Austria, while W Series returns in three weeks for the championship's first visit to France on July 22nd-23rd.
Williams Racing x Silverstone
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