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Herta extends Andretti contract to the end of 2027

IndyCar ace Colton Herta will remain with Andretti Autosport through to the end of 2027, after a potential Formula 1 move for 2023 was nixed by the FIA's superlicence requirements.

Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Herta’s current contract was due to take him through to the end of the 2023 season but, knowing that the contracts of several other drivers are coming up for renewal in the same period, team owner Michael Andretti has taken Herta off the market early.

The Californian had been in the frame for an AlphaTauri F1 seat for next season alongside Yuki Tsunoda, as part of a deal to allow Pierre Gasly to move to Alpine.

But the FIA's unwillingness to budge from its current superlicence structure, with Herta only on 32 of the 40 needed to qualify for an F1 drive, meant that the move was denied. Nyck de Vries hence took Herta's part in the deal.

This has also ensured that Gainbridge, one of the Group 1001 companies, will continue to support the #26 entry through a concurrent contract extension.

“We’re really pleased to confirm that Colton and Gainbridge will remain with Andretti Autosport for years to come,” said Andretti. “Colton is a true talent in a racecar and has natural determination that makes him want to win.

“He’s a strong competitor and a good teammate. I’m looking forward to seeing what Colton and Andretti can continue to achieve together.”

Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

“We’ve been really proud to represent Gainbridge, and to have given them their first racing victory with Colton in 2020 — and four more since. On and off the track we share a commitment to compete at the top level and look forward to seeing Colton return to victory lane in the yellow and black Gainbridge colours.”

Herta has seven IndyCar wins to his name and, although two of them came in his rookie season while he raced under the Harding Steinbrenner banner, this was an Andretti satellite team.

“I’m super-happy and grateful for everything the entire Andretti and Gainbridge teams have done for me,” said Herta.

“This is a huge step for me professionally and I’m so glad it can be with a top team like Andretti Autosport."

The wording of the press release was notably open-ended enough to leave room for the Herta-Andretti-Gainbridge combo to enter F1, should Michael Andretti persuade the FIA and current team owners to allow an 11th team to enter, or (more likely at this stage) to purchase a majority stake in a current F1 team.

In the mean time, for 2023 at least, Herta will remain IndyCar teammates with Romain Grosjean, Devlin DeFrancesco and newest teammate Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 Indy Lights champion who spent his rookie season at AJ Foyt Racing but has now replaced Alexander Rossi in the #27 car.

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