IndyCar driver Colton Herta has been describing his weekend at the Miami Grand Prix where he was invited as a guest of McLaren.
Herta has not been shy about his interest in becoming a Formula 1 driver and ahead of the Miami Grand Prix, he described it as being “pretty high” on the list of motorsport accomplishments he hopes to achieve.
He has already taken that first step into the sport as before the start of the 2022 F1 season, it was announced he would be a development driver for McLaren – and now the 22-year-old has had a chance to see the team in action up close.
He was in the McLaren paddock for the Miami Grand Prix but joked that being so close to the car and not being to able to drive it was “the worst feeling in the world for a driver”.
“It was a lot of fun, but it’s always the worst feeling in the world for a driver to go to a racetrack and not be able to drive,” Herta told RACER.
“Obviously with the ties to McLaren, I was able to see a lot more and I’d never been in that capacity where I was able to really see everything and look at all the data from the drivers, see the traces and how they do things. So it was very interesting. I learned a lot.”
— Colton Herta (@ColtonHerta) May 5, 2022
Despite the differences in the sport, the Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver was surprised at just how similar the working practices of both teams were.
“That was the surprising thing – what they do is the same that we are doing,” he said. “There was nothing they do that’s really different from how we do things, except they just have a lot more people because they have a lot more stuff to worry about that we don’t.
“Their cars have so many different things you can change, so many sensors and computers to look after where most of those things are spec on our cars. But operationally, once the team comes together after a session, it was surprising how similar it is.
“Everyone was very open to me being there and explained a lot of really good points. It was awesome to be able to see how everything works.”
Herta already knows a fair few faces in F1 and said it was good to catch up with the likes of Lando Norris and Sebastian Vettel.
“From the driver’s side, I got to meet Daniel Ricciardo – really outgoing, lovely guy,” the American said. “Obviously got to talk with Lando quite a bit. I hadn’t seen him in a long time. Got to talk to Mike Krack, who I know from our time at BMW, so it was good to see him. Got to talk to Vettel, who I know through the Race of Champions. Good to see everybody.”
McLaren need to bounce back from Miami
McLaren came away from Miami with no points, so they need to get back on track in Barcelona.