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Herta "understands" FIA's stance on superlicence

NEWS STORY
22/09/2022

Colton Herta says he understands the FIA's stance in terms of the superlicence, insisting that he never wanted special treatment.

The American was speaking as fellow IndyCar drivers Graham Rahal and Alexander Rossi hit out at F1 for its attitude towards American drivers and race series, and it is anticipated that others will find some more here as the row continues.

With the FIA unwilling to bend in terms of making an exception for Herta to be granted a superlicence despite not having enough points to qualify, it appears as though the American's F1 dream is over... for now.

However, Herta insists that he never wanted to be treated differently and certainly didn't want to cause the row that has dominated the sport in recent weeks.

"At the end of the day it is the FIA's decision," he tells Motorsport.com. "They listen to the teams a lot but it's the FIA's call over superlicences.

"They don't want to p*** off all their team owners and current manufacturers just to accept one more person," he adds. "It's a big puzzle with a lot of moving parts."

Nonetheless, he feels that IndyCar is 'undervalued' by the FIA in terms of the superlicence points system.

"I can understand the FIA's position, I just feel that IndyCar is underrepresented in the superlicence points structure," he says. "But from their point of view, with the current points structure, I get it. And I don't want to come in as an exception."

The youngster was keen to pay tribute to McLaren's Zak Brown, who signed him a a development driver earlier this year, and subsequently organised a three-day test in Portugal.

"Zak Brown said he'd be interested to run me in FP1s but he wouldn't want to put me in a McLaren if I had a contract with AlphaTauri, it's kind of going against your team.

"I appreciate all the effort Zak has made for me, he's been great to me. There's been a lot of stuff in the news but he's been completely transparent to me all along, and it's been great to work with him."

Asked about speculation that he could head east over the winter and contest the likes of the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand, he admits: "I think it was possible to do something, but I feel like I shouldn't have to go race in a feeder series after I've been a professional driver for four years. So I didn't fully consider it."

Though the dream F1 move is over, certainly for now, Herta hasn't given up on it, and believes his current boss, Michael Andretti could prove to be the conduit.

"I think Michael's prepared to put me into F1, there is some longevity to that offer," says Herta. "I would understand if by the time I'm 26 he doesn't want to put me in an F1 car.

"But I guess there's a promise from this whole de Vries deal, right?" the 22-year-old continues. "He's 27, he'll be 28 by the start of next season, and it looks like what he did in Monza might have spiked some conversations about him getting a seat somewhere. Goes to show, if you get the opportunity, you need to maximize it and he did, so fair play to him.

"In the next few years there might be opportunities for Andretti to buy a team," he adds. "Somebody might be looking to sell. If another engine manufacturer comes in and a team owner has an opportunity to sell, they might look at it very differently."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by MossMan, 21/09/2022 16:26

"Nice balanced view from the man actually at the centre of it all. Good luck to him!"

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