Formula 1 dream ‘isn’t over’ for Colton Herta after move falls through

Sam Cooper
Colton Herta looks sideways. United States, February 2022.

Colton Herta’s father believes this is not the end of the road for his son’s Formula 1 dreams after a move to AlphaTauri fell through.

Herta’s name emerged as a shock contender for the AlphaTauri seat as Pierre Gasly moved closer to the exit door and to Alpine.

There was one problem though, his lack of super licence points. Driving in the non-FIA sanctioned IndyCar series means that despite winning seven races in his career, he lacked enough points to be eligible for Formula 1.

AlphaTauri’s sister team, Red Bull, worked hard to convince the FIA to overlook this stipulation as they attempted to hire what would have been the first American F1 driver since Alexander Rossi in 2015.

That attempt has proven unsuccessful though and it has emerged that Red Bull have given up hope of landing Herta and are instead looking at Nyck de Vries for a possible move to AlphaTauri.

While no doubt a bitter blow for Herta, his father Bryan does not believe that is his last chance at a Formula 1 seat.

“I don’t think he considers his F1 dream is over whatever the FIA decides for now,” Herta told Motorsport.com. “It’s an incredible opportunity in front of him, as he is testing with McLaren F1 team, but he also recognises what he has with Andretti Autosport [in IndyCar] is also an incredible opportunity.

“It’s important to remember he’s going to be fine, no matter what. He’s not going to be looking for sympathy.”

The rejection of Herta’s case has brought criticism upon the FIA who have been accused of being “elitist” when it comes to who does and who does not get a super licence. Bryan Herta argued that IndyCar success deserves more points than it currently receives.

“Everyone seems to know before us, it seems!” he said of the news the move had been called off. “But I don’t even know if it’s going to be made ‘official’. I know we haven’t heard anything.

“It’s a bit sad that it’s ended up looking like a personalised thing because Colton definitely didn’t want to be a ‘special case’. I think someone could make the argument over IndyCar success deserving more points, but on the other hand, I do completely understand the FIA’s desire to protect the European ladder system.

“I think that whatever they say, whatever they decide it is, that’s what it is. No point arguing it one way or the other.”

IndyCar’s Graham Rahal reacted angrily to the news and said that F1 just wants Americans’ money.

“F1 is an elitist sport,” he tweeted. “They don’t want us. Remember that. They want US companies’ money, they want wealthy US individuals’ money. But they don’t care about the rest. Always has been that way, always will be.

“And for those who want to say @ColtonHerta didn’t “earn” the right. You’re off base. He’s as talented if not more than the rest. He’s a proven winner. He came to the top and has done exceptionally well. F1 has had ride-buyers for years who don’t hold a candle to CH. FACTS!”