Motor racing-F1 seat means more time in the gym for Sargeant

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 - United States Grand Prix - Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. - October 21, 2022 Williams' Logan Sargeant in action during practice REUTERS/Brian Snyder

GROVE, England (Reuters) - Logan Sargeant has not let his new status as a Formula One driver go to his head as he prepares for a race debut with Williams in Bahrain next month.

The 22-year-old American is instead doing his best to stay grounded.

Asked at the team's livery launch on Monday if he had rewarded himself for securing a dream job, the youngster -- who moved to Europe as a 12-year-old to compete against the best in karting -- said no.

"More hours in the gym," he grinned. "I haven't treated myself.

"I've just stayed exactly as I was last year in terms of I'm still living in the same place in London. On my own, enjoying the hours in the gym, enjoying the time on the sim (simulator).

"I know it sounds boring, but that's about all I've been doing."

Sargeant will be the first U.S. driver to race in Formula One since Alexander Rossi in 2015 and is set to be the first to do a full season since Scott Speed at Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri) in 2006.

With three U.S. races on the calendar, including a home round in Miami and a new floodlit spectacular in Las Vegas, the American is stepping into a bright media spotlight but he said he was well-prepared.

"Coming into the sport, straight into a year where there's three U.S. grands prix is a special opportunity and a privilege at the same time," he said.

"F1 in America is clearly at its peak and its still on the way up, which is a massive positive. You can see how many questions from friends and family and how curious people are about the sport.

"It's funny, people text me now and be like 'I didn't realise how big of a thing this could eventually be or how big F1 really was'," he added.

"It's a completely different world now in terms of America. Everyone knows what Formula One is now over there. It's nice to see the transition."

Sargeant, who finished fourth overall in Formula Two last season but was the only one to move up a rung, said he had kept a low profile over the winter break.

"To be honest, when I was home it was more about staying active in training and just enjoying a bit of time away with my family and just catching up with everyone and trying to avoid the F1 scene for a little while," he said.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)

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