OUR INFORMATION REACHES YOU! Sign up here for our Newsletter and receive our newsletter with the best news so you don’t miss a thing
Bad news for all US Formula 1 fans : the dream of having an American driver on the grid in 2023 with Colton Herta has finally faded.
According to information from Motorsport.com , Red Bull has put aside the efforts they were making to create the necessary conditions for the FIA to grant the IndyCar driver a super license.
The super license is mandatory for any driver who wants to compete in Formula 1. Colton Herta finished the 2022 IndyCar season in 10th place and, therefore, could not add the necessary points that give access to that permission.
After several weeks trying to achieve the impossible, Red Bull has finally given up hope that the FIA will make an exception for Herta: “It’s a shame that nobody realized the value an American driver would have, especially a guy like Colton Herta,” Helmut Marko explained.
Herta currently has 32 points for the super license, according to calculations, but the minimum requirement is 40, which could only have been achieved if the FIA, taking into account a “force majeure” cause, had added a past session that would not have been included in the calculation under normal circumstances.
Recently, Red Bull had tried to exhaust all its possibilities, also with the help of the Alpine team, who are interested in signing Pierre Gasly for 2023, scheduling a private test with a French car at the Hungaroring in September that they have finally canceled.
For Marko, it is “incomprehensible” that a driver who has won seven IndyCar races has to prove that he can drive a Formula 1 car through a bureaucratic points system.
Pressure on the FIA has increased in recent weeks as most teams have positioned themselves against an “exception” for Herta. The highest body had promised to make a decision after the Monza weekend, but then said they preferred to wait until he did the private test for Alpine at the Hungaroring. In turn, Herta also urgently needed a decision, as his Andretti team began to press for some concrete information.
If Herta had made Andretti wait longer, the American team would also have had to find another driver sooner or later to avoid being left empty-handed. And, in turn, Herta did not want to run the risk of losing her seat at Andretti and not being able to sign for AlphaTauri either.
In short, the dream of seeing an American driver in Formula 1 has vanished, at least for the moment. However, the possibility of Gasly ending up at Alpine has not yet been ruled out. Of course, AlphaTauri will need to find a suitable replacement for Marko to give the go-ahead for the operation.
“It is currently being evaluated what possibilities there are,” Marko said in reference to AlphaTauri’s second seat for 2023. One thing is clear: Mick Schumacher is not one of the candidates.
Among the juniors on the Red Bull programme, Liam Lawson made his debut in FP1 Spa, but it doesn’t look like he’s going to be given the starting job. And Jehan Daruvala (6th in Formula 2), Ayumu Iwasa (9th) and Dennis Hauger (11th) also need more time.
And if the right replacement is not found, Gasly will have to stay at AlphaTauri for at least another year before his contract with Red Bull finally runs out.