Colton Herta's F1 switch off as Red Bull abandons efforts

Colton Herta's hopes of moving to Formula 1 next year have been dashed, with Red Bull abandoning its efforts to secure the IndyCar race winner a seat at AlphaTauri.

Colton Herta's F1 switch off as Red Bull abandons efforts

The 22-year-old had been targeted by Red Bull to make the switch to F1 in 2023, but the plan stalled over the issue of him securing the mandatory superlicence.

Herta only had 32 of the 40 points that were necessary for him to get an automatic licence, and a push by Red Bull for the FIA to give him special exemption looked like it was going to fail.

Even though avenues remained open for Herta to get the necessary points - potentially by taking part in one of several international winter series - Red Bull had decided that it was not worth wasting extra time going down that route.

One risk was that if he was unlucky in the winter series he chose, then he could fail to get the points needed and that would leave both him and AlphaTauri in a tricky spot only a few weeks before the start of the season.

Speaking to Motorsport.com's sister site Motorsport-Total, Red Bull motorsports advisor Helmut Marko said that the collapse of the Herta plan meant F1 had missed an opportunity to build extra interest in the US market.

"It's a shame that people don't realise what value an American driver, especially a guy like Colton Herta, would have for the booming American market, especially with three F1 races," Marko said.

Red Bull tried everything it could to ease Herta's path, and was even involved in helping arrange a run for him in Alpine's private test next week.

However, with the FIA indicating it will not budge on the superlicence matter, Red Bull had now decided there is little point in pursuing its original plan.

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, Helmut Marko, Consultant, Red Bull Racing

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, Helmut Marko, Consultant, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

It is understood that Herta's planned test run with Alpine has been cancelled, now that the F1 seat is off the table.

Marko said it was "incomprehensible" that a winner of seven IndyCar races had to prove his qualification to safely drive an F1 car due to a bureaucratic points system, especially since he could easily have run in a number of free practice sessions to further prepare himself for his first race.

As well as Red Bull not wanting to spend more time trying to overcome the superlicence situation, there was also pressure mounting from Herta's Andretti Autosport IndyCar team on a definitive decision.

Michael Andretti's outfit needed to know if it had to find a replacement for Herta for 2023 and didn't want to be left high and dry if a final call was made in a few weeks' time.

Furthermore, there was a risk that if Herta ended his Andretti deal early to pursue F1, and then failed to get the superlicence, then he could be left without a drive in anything next year.

While Red Bull previously stated that if it did not get Herta then it would keep Pierre Gasly at AlphaTauri, the possibility of a deal with Alpine for the Frenchman is not off the table yet.

However, AlphaTauri needs a suitable replacement for Marko, who will ultimately decide, to approve.

According to information from Motorsport-Total.com, a possible Gasly successor will not come from the team's own junior team.

Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri AT03, kicks up some sparks

Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri AT03, kicks up some sparks

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Formula 2 racer Liam Lawson gained his first FP1 experience at Spa, but did not push for promotion to the regular cockpit, while Jehan Daruvala (sixth in Formula 2), Ayumu Iwasa (ninth) and Dennis Hauger (11th) also still need time.

Read Also:

"It's being evaluated right now what possibilities there might be," says Marko in reference to the second AlphaTauri cockpit.

However, it appears certain that Mick Schumacher is not among the candidates under consideration.

If no suitable candidate is found, Gasly will stay with AlphaTauri for another year before his current Red Bull contract expires.

shares
comments
Monza ‘regret’ over poor fan experience prompts fresh questions over its F1 future
Previous article

Monza ‘regret’ over poor fan experience prompts fresh questions over its F1 future

Next article

Kvyat: No obstacles to surprise F1 return 

Kvyat: No obstacles to surprise F1 return 
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Plus

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge Plus

Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge

Faced with drivers complaining about the long-term health effects of car ‘bouncing’, the FIA stepped in to deal with it. JAKE BOXALL-LEGGE explains how the so-called ‘Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric’ works, and asks if it is fit for purpose?

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2022
Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers Plus

Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers

As Sebastian Vettel’s Formula 1 career has come to a close, figuring out where he fits into the greatest of all time order is a tough and subjective call. With the aid of statistics, attributes and history, here’s how the four-time world champion stacks up in the debate

Formula 1
Nov 19, 2022