Colton Herta’s F1 shuts down if Red Bull stops efforts

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The 22-year-old had been targeted by Red Bull to make the switch to F1 in 2023, but the plan stalled as he would be given the mandatory super license.

Herta only had 32 of the 40 points he needed to get an automatic license, and a push from Red Bull for the FIA ​​to give him a special exemption seemed to fail.

Even though roads remained open for Herta to earn the necessary points – possibly by competing in one of the many international winter series – Red Bull had decided it was not worth wasting extra time on that route.

One of the risks was that if he was unlucky in the winter series he chose, he would not get the points needed and that would leave him and AlphaTauri in a tricky spot just a few weeks before the start of the season.

Speaking to Motorsport.com’s sister site Motorsport-Total, Red Bull motorsport adviser Helmut Marko said the collapse of the Herta plan meant F1 had missed an opportunity to build additional interest in the US market.

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“It’s a shame people don’t realize the value an American driver, especially a man like Colton Herta, would bring to the booming American market, especially with three F1 races,” said Marko.

Red Bull went out of their way to ease Herta’s path and was even involved in arranging a run for him in Alpine’s private test next week.

However, with the FIA ​​indicating not to give in to the super licensing issue, Red Bull had now decided there was little point in pursuing its original plan.

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, Helmut Marko, Adviser, Red Bull Racing

Photo By: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

It is clear that Herta’s planned test drive with Alpine has been cancelled, now that the F1 seat is off the table.

Marko said it was “incomprehensible” that a winner of seven IndyCar races had to prove his qualification to safely drive an F1 car due to a bureaucratic points system, especially as he could have easily run some free practice sessions to further prepare himself for his first game.

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Aside from Red Bull not wanting to spend more time overcoming the super licensing situation, pressure was also put on Herta’s Andretti TBEN IndyCar team to make a final decision.

Michael Andretti’s team needed to know whether to find a replacement for Herta before 2023 and did not want to be left dry if a final decision was made in a few weeks.

In addition, there was a risk that if Herta ended his Andretti deal prematurely to continue F1 and then did not get the super license, he could be left without a ride next year.

While Red Bull previously indicated that if it doesn’t make it to Herta it would keep Pierre Gasly at AlphaTauri, the possibility of a deal with Alpine for the Frenchman is not yet off the table.

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However, AlphaTauri needs a suitable replacement for Marko, who will ultimately decide to approve.

According to information from Motorsport-Total.com, a potential Gasly successor will not come from the team’s own junior squad.

Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri AT03, creates some sparks

Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri AT03, creates some sparks

Photo By: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Formula 2 racer Liam Lawson had his first FP1 experience at Spa but did not push for promotion to the regular cockpit, while Jehan Daruvala (sixth in Formula 2), Ayumu Iwasa (ninth) and Dennis Hauger (11th) also finished. need time.

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“We are now evaluating the possibilities,” says Marko about the second AlphaTauri cockpit.

However, it seems certain that Mick Schumacher is not one of the candidates in question.

If no suitable candidate is found, Gasly will remain with AlphaTauri for another year before his current Red Bull contract expires.

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