MONTEREY, Calif. – Bryan Herta said there were no plans to get his son Colton into an international “winter series” to earn the eight points needed to earn an FIA Super Licence.
The FIA announced this on Saturday it would probably not grant Herta a special waiver to join F1 and that he needs to accumulate the required amount of Super License Points based on his complicated system that heavily favors European Feeder Series over the NTT IndyCar Series.
“The FIA will not be pressured by any team to make decisions on matters such as super license points.” an FIA spokesman told Autosport. “The FIA President has put in place robust governance and we will abide by it.”
Herta has 32 points and there would be some options to race in series over the winter which would allow him to earn the 40 points needed for a super license required to race in Formula 1.
AlphaTauri and Alpine have both expressed interest in the 22-year-old NTT IndyCar Series driver from Santa Clarita, California.
With seven wins in the NTT IndyCar Series, Herta seems to have more than proven himself worthy of an FIA super license. But consider that Linus Lundquist earned enough points for a super license by winning the Indy Lights Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Saturday.
“I don’t really know what the options would be,” Herta’s father and agent Bryan told a small group of reporters, including NBC Sports, on Saturday. “I don’t know if he can drive in F3 or F4 with his license. It’s really not up to him or us, it’s up to the people over there to decide what to do.
“Let me say that, I understand both sides of the argument. I have an emotional side to one side of the argument, but I also have an intellectual understanding of both sides of the argument.
“Before the season started, it was clear what the requirements were and it hasn’t changed. It’s up to you.”
Bryan Herta said NBC Sports in a Friday interview that he had no special exemption or treatment from the FIA for Colton.
IndyCar officials are not involved in the number of points the FIA awards for Super License Points because, frankly, that’s a non-series-affecting situation.
“I don’t understand why IndyCar would want to do this,” said Bryan Herta. “Why would they want to make it easier for their drivers to drive away from here?
“I don’t think it’s in their best interest to do that. People here who race and understand the sport see the value of IndyCar. I don’t think anything will change about that.”
Bryan Herta is the strategist for his son at the #26 Gainbridge Honda and said it was ‘business as usual’ at Laguna Seca this weekend. Colton is attempting to win Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey for the third consecutive year.
“We weren’t happy with the car in practice and we have to do better for qualifying,” said Bryan. “That’s all we think about.
“It doesn’t really change anything for me.”
Serving as Colton’s manager was an “interesting” position for the former IndyCar driver, who is a two-time winner at Laguna Seca.
“One must be fortunate to see Colton in this position where teams are publicly expressing interest, and it’s amazing and clearly genuine,” said Bryan. “Everyone is clear about what they are hoping for and what they want to come out of, but that is out of their hands there.
“Colton has to accept every decision that happens.”
Andretti Autosport should know soon if they need to take the No. 26 spot in IndyCar.
“Having a resolution is better for everyone,” Bryan said. “It’s awkward when people, team owners and other drivers make it specific to Colton.
“He wants to try Formula 1. I think he’s good enough to take that risk, but you don’t want to go there with an asterisk.
“I’m a little surprised at how controversial and public it was. I’d rather it be settled quietly, and that’s it.”
Both Hertas expressed surprise at the level of excitement and interest Formula One teams have shown – particularly since a July test with McLaren Racing (who signed Colton to a testing contract this season).
But it also put a target on Colton’s back.
“Zak Brown and McLaren undoubtedly gave Colton the opportunity to drive a Formula 1 car and it went well,” said Bryan. “There is no doubt that it had a positive impact on his perception of other people in that paddock afterwards.”
As his manager, Colton has an agent who has experienced all facets of racing, from driving IndyCars to owning Indy 500 winning cars and a successful IMSA sports car program.
“This has nothing to do with me, I’m just here to help him find and achieve his goals,” Bryan said. “I think he’s in a great position here with Andretti in the IndyCar Series. He’s not unhappy.
“But an F1 possibility is also exciting.
“If those are your two possible outcomes, I don’t think there’s a bad outcome for him. We just have to wait and see if that happens.”
The Herta way, however, is to get that decision right without demeaning one series over the other or being given special permission to make the move.
“What Colton wants to do is protect IndyCar and not make an impression that he’s desperate to get away from,” Bryan said. “It’s not something to run away from or feel inferior to.
“But Formula 1 is Formula 1. On a global scale, it’s arguably the greatest form of motorsport. Any driver worth their salt would love to try it.”
As a son, Colton has a father who raised him well and prepared him for life.
“He’s a good boy,” Bryan said. “I think my pride and his mother’s pride are based on who he is, his value system and how good he is.
“Our pride in him has less to do with how fast he can drive a race car.”