Newgarden: Herta “seems like the top gun” at Andretti

Josef Newgarden says he’s expecting St. Petersburg winner Colton Herta to be Andretti Autosport’s main contender for the championship.

Newgarden: Herta “seems like the top gun” at Andretti

Team Penske-Chevrolet’s two-time champion was beaten by Herta in the second round of the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series, despite a strong effort to displace him following the two restarts in the final stint.

Newgarden cautioned against ignoring his 2019 title rival Alexander Rossi, but believes Herta has gained preeminence in the Andretti Autosport-Honda squad which also contains Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe.

He stated: “I don't want to discount someone like Rossi… I think Alex is certainly capable of being in that mix every weekend, so I think it would be unwise to discount him. But I think Herta is without a doubt their… to me he seems like the top gun over there.

“He's still so young right now, so he's got a lot of runway, pretty level-headed, has a great crew around him. I know his engineer [Nathan O’Rourke]; he was my first engineer.

“He's got a great team around him, seems to work well with his dad [Bryan Herta is Colton’s strategist]. I was watching his dad this weekend and how proud he was of him when he was getting in the car, and they just seem like they have good chemistry.

“Yeah, I think they'll be in the mix without a doubt all year. But like I said, I wouldn't discount some of the other boys over at Andretti. I think they have some other capable drivers, too, and not just Herta.”

Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet

Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

Newgarden’s team-mate Simon Pagenaud concurred with his assessment of Herta’s potential, but believes there are similarly talented drivers likely to gain more prominence in the near future.

“I think he's fantastic, he's a great driver,” said Pagenaud of the 21-year-old who now has four IndyCar wins and five pole positions to his name. “He's really young, so he's got a lot of room to improve still, which is impressive.

Read Also:

“But I see a lot of young guys coming up and having just as much talent and potential in the future, being championship contenders, as well.

“The series is at its highest level right now. It's just incredible to see the talents and the personalities, as well. Yeah, look forward to the future.”

shares
comments

Related video

Mario Andretti: America would “go crazy” over Herta in F1

Previous article

Mario Andretti: America would “go crazy” over Herta in F1

Next article

Herta: Car did "everything you want" in St. Petersburg IndyCar win

Herta: Car did "everything you want" in St. Petersburg IndyCar win
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Drivers Colton Herta , Josef Newgarden
Author David Malsher
How Herta's aversion to complacency spells bad news for his IndyCar rivals Plus

How Herta's aversion to complacency spells bad news for his IndyCar rivals

Colton Herta's dominant IndyCar win on the streets of St. Petersburg confirmed what rivals have long-suspected - that the second-generation racer is destined for stardom. But it was Herta's comments afterwards that gave perhaps the most interesting insight into a driver that will be around for a long time to come

IndyCar
Apr 29, 2021
How good is Palou - and can he be Dixon's main IndyCar title rival? Plus

How good is Palou - and can he be Dixon's main IndyCar title rival?

Last Sunday, Alex Palou delivered his first IndyCar victory on his Chip Ganassi Racing debut. Is the young Spaniard going to become his legendary teammate Scott Dixon’s biggest title threat? DAVID MALSHER-LOPEZ investigates Palou's potential

IndyCar
Apr 21, 2021
Can Penske redress the balance in IndyCar's battle of the titans? Plus

Can Penske redress the balance in IndyCar's battle of the titans?

IndyCar's gold standard teams Ganassi and Penske are set for another slugfest beginning this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. A poor start to the first season with the new aeroscreen left Josef Newgarden with too much ground to make up on Scott Dixon in the title chase, but his strong end to 2020 suggests a battle royale lies ahead...

IndyCar
Apr 16, 2021
The six major IndyCar subplots to follow in 2021 Plus

The six major IndyCar subplots to follow in 2021

From rookies arriving with big reputations to veterans who still have the fire and an F1-linked squad pushing to join the big leagues, IndyCar has it all this year. Here are six of the key storylines to keep track of

IndyCar
Apr 15, 2021
The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed Plus

The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed

Often unfairly characterised as a car-breaker, judged for his lack of an Indianapolis 500 win and a disappointing part-season of Formula 1 in 1993, Michael Andretti was highly respected by his rivals and only thwarted greater success by ill-fortune. When it all came together in 1991, he was a truly formidable force

IndyCar
Mar 6, 2021
How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite Plus

How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite

The second year of McLaren's full-time IndyCar return is looming, with Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up. Strong team personnel and work behind the scenes means that 2021 could be the year it joins the established elite

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart Plus

The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart

Flashes of brilliance amid spells of obscurity have been too common for Marco Andretti. While the third-generation racer has opted to bring his full-time IndyCar career to a close, his peaks and troughs have never been for want of trying

IndyCar
Jan 20, 2021
Why American racing's top dog is without equal Plus

Why American racing's top dog is without equal

A byword for success in business and in motorsport for over 50 years, Roger Penske's importance to the US scene cannot be understated. In an exclusive interview, the custodian of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway reflects on his journey

IndyCar
Jan 11, 2021