Herta finished the 2022 IndyCar season with 32 points, eight shy of the 40 needed to earn a super license. Theoretically, Herta could still get a super license by picking up a point in free practice sessions (McLaren has a trial contract with McLaren), or by picking up points in an FIA-sanctioned winter series. The situation could also be resolved if the FIA grants Herta an exemption, but he has stated publicly that he prefers not to receive one.
The purpose of the Super License system is to encourage driver talent as a motivating factor for drivers to be entered by F1 teams. However, critics of the system – particularly those of IndyCar – have pointed out that Formula 1 feed series often have many « paying drivers » who are entered because they provide financial support to teams for which they fly rather than pure racing talent.
IndyCar star Alexander Rossi, Herta’s teammate at Andretti Autosport and the last American driver to race in F1, answered that question last Saturday. with a long message on his Twitter account in which he said he was « sick and tired » of talk about the super license system.
“Motorsport still remains as the most publicized sport in the world where money can trump talent,” writes Rossi. “What is disappointing and, in my opinion, the fundamental problem, is that the sporting element has so often taken a back seat to the commercial aspect that a method had to be put in place so that certain teams stop taking pilots solely on the basis of their financial support”.
“Ultimately, these past decisions, whether out of greed or necessity, are what cost Colton the opportunity to make the decision for himself if he wanted to change careers and race in F1. No points on a license. »
Since arriving on the IndyCar scene, Herta has been seen as the most qualified candidate to become the first American to race in F1 since Rossi drove for Marussia between 2014 and 2015. Herta has become the youngest driver in history to win an IndyCar race in 2019, and he has since won seven total career wins with a best finish of third in points in 2020.