Red Bull gives up: No superlicence exemption for Herta!


Red Bull has reportedly given up on its efforts to convince the FIA to grant Colton Herta a superlicence exemption that would have allowed the American to race in F1 with AlphaTauri in 2023.

Red Bull had lobbied motorsport's governing body in the past weeks to try and convince the latter that Herta's credentials in IndyCar warranted a free pass to race in Formula 1.

While several of Red Bull's rivals – namely Ferrari and Mercedes – were against the FIA awarding a dispensation to Herta, a stance also adopted by F1 boss Stefano Domenicali, the governing body said that it would independently consider the young American driver's case and rule on the issue by last weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

But with no decision forthcoming, Red Bull abandoned this week its efforts to field an American driver in F1, much to Helmut Marko's regret.

"It's a shame that people don't realize what value an American driver, especially a guy like Colton Herta, would have for the booming American market, especially with three F1 races," a frustrated Marko told German website Motorsport-Total.

Herta's current superlicence points tally is 32, or 8 points short of the 40 points required to qualify for F1's special licence.

To help his cause with the FIA, the Andretti Autosport driver had been lined up for a private test with Alpine next week in Hungary, along with three other drivers.

But that test for Herta has reportedly also been scrapped.

Timing on the superlicence issue had become tight for Herta, as Andretti Autosport was keen on setting in stone its plans for 2023 in the NTT IndyCar Series.

Waiting on an official ruling by the FIA put Herta at risk of losing his IndyCar drive with AA, with no assurance that he would end up racing for AlphaTauri.

Red Bull's decision to scrap its plan to run Herta in 2023, which deprives F1 and fans of a fascinating rookie gamble, all but confirms Pierre Gasly's seat at AlphaTauri.

However, Motorsport-Total suggests the Frenchman could still move to Alpine if Red Bull can find a suitable replacement for the Frenchman.

If not, Gasly will remain at AlphaTauri for a fourth consecutive season, while Alpine will continue to review its short list of candidates to replace Fernando Alonso at the Enstone squad.

As par of its driver evaluation process, Alpine is scheduled to run in Hungary next week Italian Grand Prix sensation Nyck de Vries, Ferrari reserve Antonio Giovinazzi and Alpine Academy member Liam Lawson.

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