IndyCar drivers lambast 'elitist' F1 for Herta superlicence snub


IndyCar drivers Alex Rossi and Graham Rahal have aired their views on Colton Herta's recent superlicence plight, with both racers denouncing F1 and the FIA for snubbing their talented colleague.

Herta entered the frame earlier this month as a possible replacement for Pierre Gasly at AlphaTauri as the Frenchman aspired to join the Alpine team.

However, Herta's lack of points meant that the Andretti Autosport charger wasn't eligible for an F1 superlicence, which encouraged Red Bull to lobby the FIA for an exemption.

Unfortunately, given the governing body's lack of response on the matter and the opposition expressed by several teams and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali to Herta being given a free pass, Red Bull abandoned this week its efforts to recruit the young American.

Alexander Rossi

Alex Rossi, the last American to race in Formula 1 – with Marussia in 2012 – took to Twitter to criticize the superlicence points system.

"I've kept my mouth shut long enough, so here goes," he wrote.

"I'm so sick and tired of this back and forth regarding super licence points. The whole premise of it was to keep people from buying their way into F1 and allowing talent to be the motivating factor.

"That's great. We all agree Colton has the talent and capability to be in F1. That's also great and he should get that opportunity if it's offered to him. Period.

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"Motorsport still remains as the most high profile sport in the world where money can outweigh talent.

"What is disappointing and in my opinion, the fundamental problem, is that the sporting element so often took a backseat to the business side that there had to be a method put in place in order for certain teams to stop taking drivers solely based on their financial backing.

"Ultimately these past decisions, whether out of greed or necessity, is what cost Colton the opportunity to make the decision for himself as to if he wanted to alter career paths and race in F1. Not points on a license."

Rossi's fellow IndyCar rival Graham Rahal was also unimpressed with the outcome of Herta's predicament.

"F1 is an elitist sport," he said. "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."

Formula 2 and Formula 3 team owner Trevor Carlin, who ran both Herta and Lando Norris in F3, called the FIA's refusal to grant Herta an exemption "bad form".

"We at @CarlinRacing had the great pleasure of having @ColtonHerta and @LandoNorris in the same team at the same time it was obvious to us that both were destined for greatness, it is very bad form from the @fia to not allow him to show his abilities on the greatest stage."

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