Red Bull: F1 superlicence only barrier to Herta joining AlphaTauri


Red Bull is making every effort to convince the FIA that IndyCar star Colton Herta should be granted an F1 superlicence exemption that would allow the American driver to race for AlphaTauri in 2023.

Herta is being courted by Red Bull as a potential replacement for Pierre Gasly whom Alpine hopes to recruit to fill the seat that will be vacated at the end of the season by Aston Martin-bound Fernando Alonso.

Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko has said that Gasly's move to Enstone will only happen if all the conditions demanded by the energy drink company are fulfilled, not only by Alpine, but also by the FIA.

Marko is hoping that the sport's governing body will exceptionally accept to qualify Herta for a superlicence despite the young American currently falling eight points short of the 40-point tally required for a driver to be granted the precious F1 pass.

Speaking to SpeedCity Broadcasting's Chris Medland on SiriusXM after the Dutch Grand Prix, Marko appeared confident that all the dominoes are falling into place.

But the FIA's decision will likely make or break both Gasly and Herta's prospective moves for 2023.

"Astonishingly enough, all of the parties and teams involved, we found an agreement," Marko said.

"First we have to get a definite answer [from the FIA] and I think it should be by Monza.

Marko argued that Herta is not only worthy of a superlicence, there are also grounds for an exemption.

"We looked at the regulations, we discussed it with the FIA, and because of Covid there's a special regulation that you can take three years [from four] and also if one result isn't maximum points and outside the driver's [hands] they can give the points," he explained.

"So it's nothing unreasonable. He won seven IndyCar races and that's comparable to a Grand Prix I think, so it would be a shame if he wouldn't get a super-licence."

Queried at Zandvoort on Sunday on the same topic, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said that Herta's arrival hinged on the FIA's willingness to accept an exemption.

But without the free pass, Gasly will in all likelihood remain with AlphaTauri next season.

"That is an FIA issue we just need clarity which will hopefully come sooner rather than later because it holds a key role in the driver merry-go-round," Horner said.

"If the option is not there, the other triggers will not come into play."

Regarding Herta, who tested for McLaren earlier this summer, Horner says the American would be an "interesting" driver to have in F1.

"He is an exciting talent, a young American guy who has been a stand-out talent in the US.

"It will be very interesting to see how he performs in F1. To have a successful US driver could be very interesting.

"Pierre is doing a good job in Alpha Tauri. There would not be a desire to change if there was not an interesting option available."

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter