Herta, who has taken seven wins in his first four seasons of IndyCar racing and finished third and fifth in the 2020 and ’21 championships, has only 32 of the required 40 points to gain a super license.
So he would have relied on the FIA making him a special case to land a race in F1 for 2023.
“I understand the position of the FIA,” Herta told TBEN this weekend. “I just feel that IndyCar is under-represented in the super license points structure.
“But from their point of view, with the current points structure, I understand. And I don’t want to come in as ‘an exception’.”
Asked if he had considered collecting the required points by participating in the Asian regional formula in this off-season and if he had taken chances in FP1, Herta replied: “I think it was possible to do something like [Asian Regional Formula], but I feel like I shouldn’t be racing in a feeder series after being a professional driver for four years. So I haven’t fully thought about it.
“Zak Brown said he would be interested in leading me in FP1s, but he wouldn’t put me in a McLaren if I had a contract with AlphaTauri: it’s a bit against your team!
“I appreciate all the effort Zak has put in for me – he’s been great to me. There’s been a lot of stuff in the news, but he’s been completely transparent with me the whole time and it’s been great working with him. “
Assuming the super licensing rules don’t change, Herta will therefore have to reach the 40-point threshold through a combination of IndyCar performance and some FP1 sessions with an F1 team, each valued at one point.
Given that an Andretti TBEN driver hasn’t won the championship in 10 years and that Herta and outgoing team-mate Rossi were only 10th and ninth in the championship this year, that seems like a tough question for the 22-year-old from California.
Colton Herta, Andretti TBEN with Curb-Agajanian Honda
Photo By: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images
But Herta said he was confident that both he and his team can improve enough to become title contenders.
“There are some things we need to improve, there are some things I need to improve – I don’t think I’m a complete champion driver, or at least I wasn’t this year.
“But we can work on that off-season and I’m confident I have the speed to do it, and I’m confident Andretti can produce the cars to do it.
Herta said his F1 dream is far from over and that he also believes team owner Michael Andretti’s dream of moving to F1 is still alive.
When asked how long second-generation Andretti would have a commitment from Herta to sign a new IndyCar deal or chase an F1 opportunity, Herta suggested the pair might be competing together.
“I think Michael is willing to put me in F1, that offer has a long life,” said Herta. “I would understand if he didn’t want to put me in an F1 car by the time I’m 26.
“But I think there’s a promise of all this” [Nyck] de Vries deal, right? He is 27, he will be 28 at the start of next season, and it seems that what he did in Monza has sparked some talks about getting him a seat somewhere.
“It shows that when you get the chance you have to maximize it and he did, so fair play to him.
“There may be opportunities in the coming years [for Andretti] to buy a team,” said Herta, who saw his boss’s attempts to create an F1 team thwarted by owners who didn’t want the money split up in 11 ways instead of 10. .
“Someone might want to sell. If another engine manufacturer comes in and a team owner has the opportunity to sell, they can look at it very differently.
“But as for my future, it is ultimately the decision of the FIA. They listen to the teams a lot, but it is the FIA’s call on super licensing. They don’t want to piss off all their team owners and current manufacturers to accept yet one person. It’s a big puzzle with lots of moving parts.”