Herta gets McLaren test


IndyCar racer, Colton Herta is to take part in a two-day test at Portimao with McLaren this week.

About the time the Austrian Grand Prix was getting underway, images began to appear on social media depicting a garage being set up at the Portimao circuit in Portugal.

Of particular interest was the fact that IndyCar driver, Colton Herta could be clearly seen at the back of the garage.

McLaren boss, Andreas Seidl subsequently confirmed that Herta, who drives for Andretti AutoSport, is to test for the team this week.

"The idea is we have a three day test, with Colton a chance for two days," admitted the German to Speedcafe.com.

"Then I guess we will also run, most likely, one or two of our simulator drivers, just to make sure they are having fresh impressions of running an F1 car on track as well," he added.

Under the Testing Previous Cars (TPC) rules, teams are allowed to run cars as recent as the previous season, and in recent weeks, using its 2021 car, McLaren has tested India's Jehan Daruvala, while Alpine has given outings to Oscar Piastri and Jack Doohan.

As part of the three day test, its believed that former Marussia driver, Will Stevens, who is now test and development driver with the Woking outfit will be given time in the MCL35M.

Herta, who has seven IndyCar wins to his credit, including the Indianapolis road course earlier this year, signed with McLaren in March, and is believed to be taking part in one of the mandatory FP1 outings for rookies later this year.

"It's part of our agreement with Colton where we wanted to give him a chance in our Formula 1 car to show what he's actually able to do in such a car," said Seidl.

"We have the possibility now that we can run a one-year-old car this year, and that's the objective of that test, to see how he's doing.

"As you know, we have to do two times this year a Free Practice session with a young driver. Once we test all the candidates we wanted to give the chance in a TPC car, we will make our mind up who will actually run these FP1 sessions."

Asked what the team gains from the test, Seidl said: "The idea is simply to give the drivers a known, solid, existing car so that we can focus together with them on getting them used to run a Formula 1 car.

"What you normally do is to quickly try to get them up to speed, find the right balance between making sure you don't take too much risk as well. Also how, together with them, how an F1 team works, which is also different also to other categories, for example. To see how our communication works in a Formula 1 team, what the challenges are during a race weekend."

Herta Picture Credit: Andretti AutoSport/Twitter

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Published: 11/07/2022
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