The IndyCar driver has unexpectedly found himself at the center of the Formula 1 driver market following Fernando Alonso’s surprising move to Aston Martin for 2023.
Alpine initially confirmed Oscar Piastri as Alonso ‘s replacement, but the young Australian driver later revealed that he had signed for McLaren and would not be driving for the French.
That move made Alpine set its sights on AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, putting Colton Herta on the Faenza team’s radar as a possible replacement for the French driver.
At the moment, it all depends on whether or not Herta is granted an exemption to obtain the Formula 1 superlicence, as he is currently eight points short of achieving it.
It is understood that the FIA is currently evaluating whether to grant it due to a force majeure cause, as having an American driver on the grid would be very beneficial for all parties involved.
However, the latest indications suggest that they might not do so due to the unintended consequences that this decision would have in the F2 and F3 categories in the future, if they know that any other driver can reach F1 without having the number. necessary points.
Herta is currently waiting to see how the situation develops, but acknowledges that the opportunity to sign for AlphaTauri was not in his plans despite having already done a private test with an old F1 (from McLaren).
Speaking exclusively to Motorsport.com, the American said: “When I found out about the interest it was a surprise, because I didn’t think it was on anyone’s radar.
“Everyone at McLaren seemed to be very happy with how the test went, and how prepared they were physically and mentally.”
“So I think that helped. But yeah, I was a little surprised to hear about AlphaTauri’s interest.”
Although Herta doesn’t want to go into details, she does believe that IndyCar deserves a higher score to get the super license considering how competitive it is.
“I really understand both sides of the argument,” he explained.
“The FIA wants to protect their promotion system and they want drivers to go through it. But I think IndyCar deserves a little more recognition and to be a little more divided than it currently is between F3 and F2.
In reference to whether it was a risk that the FIA granted him an exemption to obtain a super license, the American said: “No, and to be honest, I don’t really know what is going on either, because I didn’t want to know.”
“I’ve told my father to keep me on the sidelines a bit so I can focus on IndyCar. Surely there are a lot of things that might surprise me when I read them.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has made it clear that Gasly will only leave AlphaTauri if the energy drinks structure can snap up Herta .
But several sources from the United States suggest that, with Herta under contract to Andretti for next year, there is no doubt that he will have to fulfill his contract.
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