« I don’t want to be an exception »

Writing GP Fans

Unable to start in F1 in 2023 for lack of sufficient points for the award of his Superlicence, the American driver does not blame the FIA.

Herta was among the potential candidates for a seat at AlphaTauri next year, the Red Bull sector looking for a top driver to replace Pierre Gasly in the Faenza team, with a view to a possible departure from the Frenchman at Alpine.

But, if we thought for a time that the FIA ​​was going to give preferential treatment to the Californian, it is ultimately not the case. For lack of sufficient points, Herta will therefore not be able to access the Superlicence, and therefore make its debut in F1 next year. However, the American driver, who finished 10th in the IndyCar championship this season, does not want to be bitter towards the federal body.
« I can understand the position of the FIA », the Andretti Racing driver told Motorsport.com. « I just feel like IndyCar is underrepresented in the superlicense points structure. »

« But from their point of view, with the current point structure, I understand. And I don’t want to be seen as an ‘exception’.

Colton Herta could, in absolute terms, have considered his last missing points by being aligned in Free Practice 1 on the last remaining Grands Prix – he has strong ties with McLaren – and by committing to a « winter » single-seater championship , also eligible for FIA points.

But the complicated nature of such an operation prompted Colton Herta to abandon his F1 project, at least for the moment.

« I think it was possible to do something like [la Formule régionale asiatique] », continues Herta, « but I felt like I shouldn’t have to go racing in a promotion series after racing as a professional rider for four years. So I didn’t really consider it. »

« Zak Brown said he would be interested in racing me in FP1, but he didn’t want to put me in a McLaren if I had a contract with AlphaTauri: it’s a bit like going against your team! »

« I appreciate all the effort Zak has made for me – he’s been awesome with me. There’s been a lot in the news, but he’s been completely transparent to me throughout, and it was awesome to work with him. »

Colton Herta should thus commit to IndyCar again next year with Andretti Racing, hoping to glean sufficient points to try his luck in F1 again in 2024.

As a reminder, 40 points are required to acquire the Superlicense. In IndyCar, the first five in the championship score FIA ​​points according to the following scale: 40, 30, 20, 10 and 8.

Herta is also hopeful that boss Michael Andretti’s F1 project comes to fruition in the coming years. « I think Michael is ready to put me in F1, it’s an offer that is valid for a while yet »Herta continued. « But I would understand that at the age of 26 he doesn’t want to put me in an F1 car. »

« But I guess there’s promise in this whole thing [Nyck] de Vries, right? He’s 27, he’ll be 28 at the start of next season, and it looks like what he did at Monza may have sparked conversations about him getting a spot somewhere.

« It shows that if you have the opportunity you need to maximize it and he did, so you have to do him justice. »

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