Palou and Herta see F1 chances drifting away

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IndyCar stars Alex Palou and Colton Herta, once considered as potential contenders for a switch to Formula 1, have both conceded that their chances of one day joining motorsport’s elite are now very low.

Ganassi’s Palou captured in 2023 his second IndyCar title in three years and was affiliated with McLaren until his falling out with the team last summer.

The Spaniard – who drove for team papaya in FP1 at the US Grand Prix in 2022 – reneged on a deal to race for Arrow McLaren in IndyCar in 2024. Included in that accord was a testing programme with the Woking-based outfit in F1 as well as an official reserve role with the team.

Palou and McLaren remain in litigation over his 2024 contract and are unlikely to work together again anytime soon, which means that his chances of ever racing in F1 have most likely evaporated.

“I tried. It didn’t really work out. That’s okay,” Palou said in an IndyCar media conference that took place this week.

“We’ll try and get many championships if we can, and we’ll try and fight for as many championships and Indy 500s as possible.”

Andretti Autosport’s Herta - who also tested for McLaren during the summer of 2022 - was initially linked to a drive with AlphaTauri for 2023 before the seat was assigned to Nyck de Vries.

However, the young American did not have the required number of points to qualify for F1’s superlicence while the FIA refused to grant Herta an exemption.

Unfortunately, Herta’s recent struggles in IndyCar haven’t improved his superlicence tally. Additionally, the uncertainty surrounding Andretti's entry into F1 has further complicated his situation.

“I think it’s very time-sensitive,” commented Herta. “I’m probably at the highest age that I could probably go over there with a team, maybe, besides Andretti.

“I don’t have anything to report on their side of things. I think their goal is still to get a Formula 1 team, and they’re still trying to. If that happens we’ll have to see what timeline that is and how old I’ll be and where I’m at in my life at that point.

“So for me, really, just the main focus right now is IndyCar, and we’ll see where it goes.”


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