Herta: FIA won't 'piss off' F1 teams just to accept one driver


Colton Herta believes the FIA has made the deliberate choice not to "piss off" its constituents in F1 by granting him a superlicence exemption.

The young American IndyCar driver was hopeful of joining AlphaTauri next season, but a shortfall in superlicence points meant that Herta did not automatically qualify for F1's mandatory credential.

Unfortunately, Red Bull's efforts to convince the sport's governing body to hand Herta an exemption were unsuccessful despite the American's more than impressive track record in IndyCar.

"At the end of the day it is the FIA’s decision," Herta told Motorsport.com. "They listen to the teams a lot but it’s the FIA’s call over superlicences.

"They don’t want to piss off all their team owners and current manufacturers just to accept one more person. It’s a big puzzle with a lot of moving parts."

Despite the disappointment of missing out on an opportunity to join the grid and fulfill his dream of racing in F1, Herta made clear that he would rather the FIA increase the value of IndyCar as a component of its superlicence points schedule rather than it hand out a free pass based on a case of force majeure.

"I can understand the FIA's position," he said. "I just feel that IndyCar is underrepresented in the superlicence points structure.

"But from their point of view, with the current points structure, I get it. And I don't want to come in as 'an exception'."

While an opportunity to race in F1 has fallen through, Herta believes his association with Andretti Autosport could lead to another chance of becoming a Grand Prix driver at some point in the future.

Andretti 's own F1 plans are still active although they may take a few more years to realise, and Herta hopes to piggyback on any F1 opportunity that may come his employer's way.


"I think Michael's prepared to put me into F1, there is some longevity to that offer," said Herta. "I would understand if by the time I'm 26 he doesn't want to put me in an F1 car.

"But I guess there's a promise from this whole [Nyck] de Vries deal, right? He's 27, he'll be 28 by the start of next season, and it looks like what he did in Monza might have spiked some conversations about him getting a seat somewhere.

"Goes to show, if you get the opportunity, you need to maximize it and he did, so fair play to him.

"In the next few years there might be opportunities [for Andretti] to buy a team," he added.

"Somebody might be looking to sell. If another engine manufacturer comes in and a team owner has an opportunity to sell, they might look at it very differently."

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