Herta eyes Andretti F1 race seat, not keen on test role

Henry Valantine
Colton Herta IndyCar driver. October 2021

Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport Honda waves after winning the 46th Annual Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach 2021 NTT Indy Car series. October 2021

IndyCar star Colton Herta has admitted the chance to drive in Formula 1, potentially with the mooted Andretti Global team, would be too good to pass up.

But he would not leave the American series to take up a test-driving role next year.

The 21-year-old was reportedly one of the drivers being considered for a seat at Alfa Romeo alongside Valtteri Bottas this season before the team ultimately plumped for Guanyu Zhou instead.

But the youngster is making waves in IndyCar, having taken six wins in his burgeoning career in the United States, finishing third and fifth in the championship in the past two seasons respectively.

With reported interest of a new American team potentially entering the grid in 2024 through Michael Andretti’s ‘Andretti Global’ brand, Herta said if he was presented with the possibility of making the move across to Formula 1 he could not say no as the opportunity to do so is extremely rare.

“I don’t think you can pass up an offer like that,” Herta told IndyStar. “What happens if they get two guys that are absolute rockets in the car and then they decide ‘well, we just want to keep them’ and you’ve lost your opportunity?

“It’s so hard to get into F1 that if an opportunity comes, you can’t just sit and wait around.

“If you want to get to F1, you have to take an offer that comes to you and as far as right now, I have no offers in F1. And by [2024] I’ll already be 24 years old, which as silly as it sounds is kind of closing out the timeline for being able to get into F1.”

“They say you are washed up by then and you have to start thinking about retirement soon,” he then quipped.

But Herta will not go out of his way to get into Formula 1 any which way as he said he would only be interested in a drive in the sport if it was in a race seat – because he simply wants to be out on track.

 

“That’s one thing I don’t want to do,” he said. “I don’t want to be a development driver for a year, I want to be a race car driver.

“Even if that might sound arrogant in some way, I want to race cars. It’s not as appealing to have to take a year off from competing and racing against people.”

The new IndyCar season gets under way with the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg in Florida this weekend, with several ex-Formula 1 drivers in the field.

 

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