IndyCar driver slams ‘elitist’ F1 after Colton Herta move breaks down

Henry Valantine
Colton Herta greeting IndyCar fans. Lexington, Ohio, July 2022.

Colton Herta greeting fans at any IndyCar race. Lexington, Ohio, July 2022.

IndyCar driver Graham Rahal has lashed out at Formula 1 following widespread reports a proposed move for Colton Herta to join AlphaTauri has broken down.

Red Bull motorsport adviser Helmut Marko had spoken previously about the possibility of lining up the young IndyCar star to replace Pierre Gasly at AlphaTauri, clearing the way for the Frenchman to move to Alpine next season.

But the sticking point has come as part of the FIA’s Super Licence requirements, with Herta only having 32 of the 40 points required to gain the necessary FIA licence to compete in Formula 1.

Red Bull had been looking to the FIA to grant an exception in Herta’s case, with the 22-year-old American being primed to move across into the Red Bull stable for next season.

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali urged the FIA to enforce their rules, however, saying “there is a protocol to respect, and that is the situation”, on the possibility of Herta joining Formula 1.

There are questions surrounding the FIA’s Super Licence points system, with the required 40 points only being given to the winner of the IndyCar Championship before the points awarded decrease. Meanwhile, the top three drivers in Formula 2 are given 40 points apiece, with the FIA giving precedence to its own licensed series.

Several IndyCar personalities have spoken up about the reports of the move breaking down, though.

Responding to Dave Moody, radio host for Sirius XM and announcer for Motor Racing Network who said “F1 has made it very clear for many years – they have no interest in US drivers, just US dollars”, six-time IndyCar race winner Rahal made his own feelings clear on Twitter, in no uncertain terms.

“Damn right,” he tweeted. “F1 is an elitist sport. 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!”

Fellow IndyCar race winner Scott McLaughlin agreed, adding: “Their loss. Kid’s a stud.”

Elsewhere, Arrow McLaren SP’s Felix Rosenqvist weighed in with a simple “it’s so stupid…” regarding the Herta reports, in reply to F1TV presenter Will Buxton’s opinion that it would be a “genuine shame” to not see the 22-year-old in Formula 1.

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