Herta plays down Alpha Tauri speculation

Sun, 4 September 2022, 09:00

Sep.4 (GMM) Colton Herta has fended off speculation that he is on the cusp of a Formula 1 adventure.

The Indycar star and 22-year-old American is being strongly linked with the Alpha Tauri race seat for 2023 – if Pierre Gasly moves on to Alpine.

A related rumour is that Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz is having health problems and therefore looking to sell Alpha Tauri to Herta’s Indycar boss Michael Andretti.

Alpha Tauri boss Franz Tost doesn’t dismiss the speculation, insisting he doesn’t “care which driver Red Bull gives me, it’s my job to educate them”.

“First of all, Red Bull has to confirm that he is driving for us.”

When asked about the speculation, Herta told the Wichita Eagle: “There’s nothing I want to talk about right now.

“My father does my management and I told him I don’t want to talk about it.”

That would seem to be a wise situation at present, as Herta’s achievements in Indycar do not qualify him for a mandatory F1 super license.

And rival Formula 1 teams do not appear to be in the mood to lobby the FIA to make a super license exception for Herta.

“From my point of view, it has nothing to do with force majeure,” said Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur.

“You have championships everywhere in the world where you are able to score points. If the FIA want to stop the process of the points (system) and the super licence, it’s another story.

“But for me it is nothing to do with force majeure.”

Haas boss Gunther Steiner agrees, but like his McLaren counterpart Andreas Seidl he said he is open to a discussion about tweaking the rules for the future.

Herta continued: “There is so much speculation – I get notifications on my phone all day long. I mark them all as read and I don’t read it.

“I don’t even read the articles anymore,” he insisted.

“At the moment, everyone seems to know more than I do. I have a contract with Andretti for next year and I have nothing else now.”

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