This was announced by the umbrella organization of Formula 1 on Friday. IndyCar star Colton Herta the super license is not granted that the American must be included on the F1 grid next season.
“The FIA confirms that an inquiry was made through the appropriate channels which resulted in the FIA confirming that driver Colton Herta does not have the required number of points to obtain an FIA Super Licence” , the FIA said in a statement.
The FIA decision was no surprise.
Red Bull were interested in the 22-year-old Californian and considered getting Herta a place with AlphaTauri, his junior team. AlphaTauri has already said that Pierre Gasly will return next season and Yuki Tsunoda received a contract extension earlier this week.
However, AlphaTauri has conceded that it would release Gasly, who appears to be wanted at Alpine, but only if it had a convincing driver like Herta to put him in the car. F1 hasn’t had an American on the grid since Alexander Rossi in 2015, but Herta didn’t particularly want the FIA to make an exception to the licensing system to get him a seat.
What is disputed is how the FIA assesses IndyCar, a series that it does not govern. The points it awards to IndyCar drivers fall somewhere between F2 and F3, the two junior feeder series in F1.
IndyCar drivers have criticized Herta’s defense system and the intense, close racing of their own hard-fought series. Herta has won seven IndyCar races, is the youngest winner in series history and has four starts at the Indianapolis 500. He qualified on the front row in 2021 and finished 2020 in a career-best eighth place finish.
Rossi, who has spent the last four seasons as Herta’s team-mate at Andretti Autosport, hit out this week because “I’m so sick of this back and forth” regarding licensing.
“The whole premise was to discourage people from buying into F1 and allow talent as a motivating factor,” Rossi wrote on social media. “That’s great. We all agree that Colton has the talent and ability to be in Formula 1. That’s great too and he should get this opportunity if it’s offered to him. Period.
“Motorsport remains the best-known sport in the world where money can outweigh talent. What is disappointing and, in my opinion, the fundamental problem is that the sporting side has taken a back seat to the business side so often that a method had to be found so that certain teams no longer take riders backing purely for financial reasons.”
Rossi added of those choices: “Whether out of greed or necessity, Colton has had the opportunity to make the decision himself whether he wanted to change careers and race in Formula One at a cost. No points on a license.”
The system favors drivers competing in FIA-sanctioned series. For example, Linus Lundqvist earned his super license by winning the Indy Lights Championship.
Lundqvist’s required points come over the 15 he earned for the Lights title, 10 points for finishing third at Lights last year and his 2020 win in the FIA-administered Formula Regional Americas Championship which gave him 18 points.
The 23-year-old Swede has a total of 43 points, three more than required for the license.
Herta, on the other hand, ended the IndyCar season with 32 points. He can still earn a super license by earning a point for every free practice he does that year. McLaren holds his F1 rights and could put him in a car. Herta could also potentially compete in an FIA-sanctioned winter series to rack up some points.
Michael Andretti, who has applied to the FIA to expand his grid to add two cars for him to start a team, said he never bothered to research potential replacements for Herta on the IndyCar team because he was confident that the super license application would be denied.
Andretti met stiff opposition from existing F1 teams and even F1 itself in his hopes of adding an 11th team. Andretti could still get into the starting lineup by buying an existing team and he wants to build his program around Herta, who is signed to Andretti at IndyCar until 2023.
As expected, the FIA denies granting Colton Herta a super license for F1 racing originally appeared on NBCSports.com