Herta signs new Andretti IndyCar deal

Finley Crebolder
Colton Herta deserves superlicence over Nikita Mazepin

April 25, 2021, St. Petersburg, FL, USA: ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 25: Colton Herta, driver of the #26 Gainbridge Andretti Autosport Honda, celebrates after winning the Firestone Grand Prix of St.Petersburg on April 25, 2021 on the Streets of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Fl. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire) (Credit Image: © David Rosenblum/Icon SMI via ZUMA Press)

Colton Herta has signed a new long-term deal with IndyCar team Andretti Autosport, dampening talk that he could join the F1 grid.

After a dominant display on the streets of St Petersburg where he secured a lights-to-flag victory and led for a record 97 of the 100-lap race, more and more people started calling for Herta to be given a shot in F1.

Mario Andretti said that there’s “something wrong” if Nikita Mazepin has a superlicence to compete in F1 and Herta cannot get one, while the driver himself spoke about the prospect of joining grid, saying he’d be willing to drive for Haas, but only if Ferrari backed the move.

Lance Stroll became the latest person to add his voice to the chorus, saying, “if I have to name a guy I say Colton Herta, I think he is someone who could do well here” when asked to pick a driver he’d like to see drive in the sport.”

However, it now looks less likely that that is going to happen anytime soon, with Herta announcing a new multi-year contract extension with his current IndyCar team.

“I’m incredibly happy to be back with Andretti Autosport for the next two years,” he said.

“I’ve grown so much with this team, so it was a no-brainer when I got the chance to re-sign with Michael,

“With the support of Dan Towriss and Gainbridge [his sponsor], there’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll be threats everywhere we go.”

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Herta is currently in his first season with Andretti Autosport, the team owned by Michael Andretti, Mario’s son.

The former IndyCar champion is confident that the team and driver will enjoy plenty of success together for years to come.

“We’re excited to officially welcome Gainbridge and Colton Herta back to the Andretti Autosport family for years to come,” he said.

“Colton has already shown so much potential in the short time he’s been in the series and having a great partner like Gainbridge recognise and support that potential is great for everyone.

“If the start to the 2021 season is any indication of the future success for the 26-car’s program, I think we have a lot to look forward to over the next few years.”

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