The FIA (Federation Internationale de Automobilismo) maintained rigidity in its processes and confirmed the rejection of the super license to Colton Herta. This Friday (23), the entity announced that it will not make an exception for the young American from Indy and that Colton, coveted by Red Bull for a spot in AlphaTauri, will have to win the points in the traditional way to obtain the document that the would allow to compete in Formula 1.
“The FIA confirms that an application has been made through the appropriate channels which has led the FIA to confirm that driver Colton Herta does not have the necessary number of points to obtain a super licence,” the FIA said in an official statement.
“The FIA continually reviews its regulations and procedures, including with respect to superlicence eligibility, with the main factors considered in relation to this topic being safety, experience and performance in the context of this path.”
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Herta’s super license soap opera began when the American’s name came into the spotlight of the silly season. Pierre Gasly, who has a contract with AlphaTauri for another year, has emerged as an option to replace Fernando Alonso at Alpine next year. Helmut Marko, consultant for Red Bull, had already said that the Frenchman would stay in the Faenza team, but the Taureans began to study the possibility of releasing Gasly to the base in Enstone under one condition: that Herta be the replacement.
But the issue was that Andretti’s IndyCar representative still didn’t have the 40 points required by the FIA to make a driver fit for the F1 grid. He is 32, and even if he took part in free practice with AlphaTauri until the end of the year, that could only be done from Singapore, as the Indy season ended alongside the Italian F1 GP. He would therefore reach 38 only.
From there, some possibilities began to be studied. The first would be for the FIA itself to appeal to a loophole in the International Sporting Code, which says that a superlicence can be granted to a driver who has a minimum of 30 points, but is considered exclusively by the entity incapable of qualifying while participating at the same time in one or more championships listed in Supplement 1, for circumstances beyond their control or force majeure. But the idea sparked a response in F1.
The second came from Alpine: a participation in the private test scheduled for Hungary this week. Herta would have to complete 100 km behind the wheel of the French team’s car – something easy to achieve in such sessions – to earn one more point for the super license, reaching 33. There would still be seven for the driver to beat the 40. necessary to apply for the F1 grid.
Amid so much bureaucracy, AlphaTauri ended up giving up on the idea of having Herta for 2023. “It’s a shame that people don’t realize the value that an American driver, especially a guy like Colton Herta, would have for the growing American market, especially with three races there”, declared Marko.
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