McLaren sign IndyCar’s Herta to test 2021 F1 car

2022 F1 season

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IndyCar race winner Colton Herta has joined McLaren to conduct a testing programme using the team’s 2021 car.

The 21-year-old will drive last year’s MCL35M in a testing programme which was made possible by a change in Formula 1’s regulations allowing teams to conduct running with year-old cars.

McLaren intend to run a testing programme using last year’s car in order to evaluate potential drivers for the future. The team ran its McLaren SP IndyCar driver Pato O’Ward in the post-season test at Yas Marina last year.

Herta was previously a team mate of McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris when the pair raced for Carlin in MSA Formula (now British Formula 4) in 2015. Norris won the title while Herta finished third, with four wins to Norris’s eight.

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said Herta is “a proven talent in IndyCar and we will be interested to see how he adapts to a Formula 1 car.”

“We believe this testing programme will provide him with valuable experience while demonstrating the benefit of expanding previous car testing to showcase promising drivers for the future,” he added.

Herta drives for Michael Andretti’s team in IndyCar. He was tipped for a move into Formula 1 when Andretti attempted to take over Sauber, which runs Alfa Romeo’s F1 team, before the deal fell through. Andretti is now seeking to enter F1 as an 11th team.

“I want to thank McLaren for the opportunity to get my first laps in a Formula 1 car, which has always been on my racing bucket list,” said Herta. “This will be a great opportunity for me to gain some valuable experience in a new form of motorsport and learn from such an established team like McLaren F1.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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8 comments on “McLaren sign IndyCar’s Herta to test 2021 F1 car”

  1. A strong wake up call sent to Danny IMO.

    1. I agree.

      A real shame he’s been unwell for testing.

    2. Is it though?

  2. I’ve read recently that when Herta tested on Alfa-Romeo’s simulator, he was faster than Raikonnen and Giovanazzi.

  3. Great news!

  4. RandomMallard
    13th March 2022, 13:08

    Still waiting for Hakkinen to be announced as McLaren’s next test/reserve driver as part of his re-acclimatisation phase after his sabbatical

    Overused joke I know

  5. When is this test happening?

  6. Herts is quick , though he is hothead and erratic and would need a completely different attitude you compete in F1..imo

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