Herta rues ‘stupid mistake’ that led to Long Beach crash


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Colton Herta was on his way to winning his second consecutive IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach last weekend. But he crashed out trying to chase down Álex Palou and eventual winner Josef Newgarden, in an error which drew immediate comparisons with his retirement from last year’s race in Nashville following a dominant drive.

Herta didn’t mince his words after crashing out on the 56th lap. “It’s just a stupid mistake,” he told NBC.

“I just braked a little bit too late, got in there, locked the front front and that’s it.”

Herta set a new Long Beach track record in qualifying and led the opening 28 laps of the race before making his first pit stop. That dropped him back behind Palou and Newgarden to third place.

“We were definitely in that thing,” said Herta, “we were running good there in third, and keeping up with Alex and Josef so it’s unfortunate. I feel really bad.”

Eight months ago in Nashville, Herta dominated proceedings early, leading 39 laps before ending up behind Marcus Ericsson after the last round of pit stops. He crashed out with six laps to go while chasing his Ganassi rival.

Herta’s seemingly impervious form at his home race hit an early snag when Newgarden left the pits ahead of him on lap 30. Defending IndyCar champion Palou got past the pair of them by pitting two laps before Herta.

“I was surprised – I didn’t know how that happened, so we’ll have to look a little bit more into that,” said Herta. “But the car was fantastic. My engineer Nathan [O’Rourke] gave me a great car. I just overdid it a bit today.”

His team mate Romain Grosjean went on to finish second, scoring Andretti Autosport’s first podium of 2022.

After three races, Herta is 11th in the IndyCar drivers’ standings heading into the upcoming round at Barber Motorsports Park on 1 May.

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RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

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5 comments on “Herta rues ‘stupid mistake’ that led to Long Beach crash”

  1. ColtON HertA at LOng Beach
    AyrtON SennA at MOnte Carlo

    The resemblence is uncanny.

  2. He’s starting to remind me of Paul Tracey. Fast but pushing too hard.

    1. @scott6428 Definitely still a bit raw but better to be fast and crash-happy (a bit unfair but this has happened twice) rather than slow and safe as you can coach crashes out more easily than coaching speed up.

      Felt to me (gut feel rather than evidence based) that he tried to control the pace rather than trying to gap the field to prevent losing position during pit windows. His gap before the first yellow was much bigger than the gap he had before he lost the lead.

  3. playstation361
    12th April 2022, 16:54

    I know it was serious immediately.

  4. Blazing fast, but prone to letting his emotions get to him and pushing too hard – and ending up in the wall.

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