According to former Red Bull driver Coulthard, he holds the conviction that the performance of each driver is “a matter of pace” and “not a matter of time”.
Assessing the current grid, he emphasized the considerable half-second lag of Williams’ American rookie, Sargeant, when compared to his teammate Alex Albon, marking it as the most significant disparity on the grid.
However, Coulthard observes that Sargeant is seemingly receiving leniency for his sluggish start in the 2023 F1 season.
This special treatment can be attributed to two factors: his nationality and the revenue he is generating for the Williams team.
With Formula 1 rapidly gaining popularity in the United States, Coulthard believes that Sargeant’s American background is working in his favour.
Furthermore, the Williams Academy graduate is reportedly contributing crucial funds to the team’s coffers, adding another dimension to the equation.
The combination of these aspects appears to be cushioning the criticism surrounding Sargeant’s early struggles in the sport.
During an interview on Channel 4, Coulthard shared his thoughts on the matter of whether 10 races offered a sufficient timeframe for De Vries to demonstrate his abilities,he said: “I actually don’t think it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of pace.”
“This is a stopwatch championship, so you either deliver the lap time or you don’t.
“He was on average within about two-and-a-half tenths of Yuki Tsunoda, which actually, the worst-performing person on average is Logan Sargeant in the Williams, he’s half-a-second away from Alex Albon.
“He’s bringing money to the team and given a bit of space, American, that fits I guess the overall growth of Formula 1 right now.
He concluded: “So I think we should only ever look at the lap time rather than…this isn’t a personality competition.”