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Herta’s F1 pull the plug on as Red Bull abandons efforts

The IndyCar race winner have been targeted by Red Bull to help make the switch to F1 in 2023, however the plan stalled on the problem of him securing the required superlicence.

Herta only had 32 of the 40 points which were essential for him to obtain a computerized licence, and a push by Red Bull for the FIA to provide him special exemption appeared as if it had been likely to fail.

Despite the fact that avenues remained open for Herta to obtain the necessary points – potentially by firmly taking part in another of several international winter series – Red Bull had decided that it had been not worth wasting more time heading down that route.

One risk was that when he was unlucky in the wintertime series he chose, he then could fail to have the points needed and that could leave both him and AlphaTauri in a tricky spot just a few weeks prior to the start of season.

Talking with Motorsport.com’s sister site Motorsport-Total, Helmut Marko said that the collapse of the Herta plan meant F1 had missed a chance to build extra fascination with the united states market.

“It is a shame that folks don’t understand what value an American driver, especially a man like Colton Herta, could have for the booming American market, especially with three F1 races,” Marko said.

Red Bull tried everything it might to help ease Herta’s path, and was even involved with helping arrange a run for him in Alpine’s private test in a few days.

However, with the FIA indicating it’ll not budge on the superlicence matter, Red Bull had now decided there’s little point in pursuing its original plan.

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, Helmut Marko, Consultant, Red Bull Racing

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, Helmut Marko, Consultant, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

It really is understood that Herta’s run with Alpine has duly been cancelled given that the F1 seat is off the table.

Marko said it had been “incomprehensible” a winner of seven IndyCar races had to prove his qualification to safely drive a Formula 1 car because of bureaucratic points system, especially since he could easily have run in several free practice sessions to help expand prepare himself for his first race.

In addition to Red Bull not attempting to save money time attempting to overcome the superlicence situation, there is also pressure mounting from Herta’s Andretti team on a definitive decision.

The IndyCar team had a need to know if it had to discover a alternative to Herta for 2023 and didn’t wish to be left high and dry in case a final call was manufactured in several weeks’ time.

Furthermore, there is a risk that when Herta ended his Andretti deal early to pursue F1, and failed to obtain the superlicence, he then could possibly be left with out a drive in anything next year.

While Red Bull previously stated that when it didn’t get Herta then it could keep Pierre Gasly at AlphaTauri, the chance of a cope with Alpine for the Frenchman isn’t off the table yet.

However, AlphaTauri requires a suitable replacement, otherwise Marko, who’ll ultimately decide, won’t supply the go-ahead.

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In accordance with information from Motorsport-Total.com, a possible Gasly successor won’t result from the team’s own junior team.

Liam Lawson gained his first FP1 experience at Spa, but didn’t push for promotion to the standard cockpit. And Jehan Daruvala (P6 in Formula 2), Ayumu Iwasa (9th) and Dennis Hauger (11th) also still need time.

“It’s being evaluated at this time what possibilities there could be,” says Marko in mention of the next AlphaTauri cockpit.

A very important factor is for certain though. Mick Schumacher isn’t on the list of candidates in mind.

If no suitable candidate is available, Gasly will need to stick with AlphaTauri for another year before his current Red Bull contract expires.

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