Colton Herta, Andretti, Indianapolis Grand Prix, 2022

FIA confirms it turned down request to grant superlicence to Herta

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In the round-up: The FIA has formally confirmed it has rejected a request for Colton Herta to be granted a superlicence.

In brief

No superlicence for Herta

The FIA has confirmed it rejected a request to grant a Formula 1 superlicence to Colton Herta. The Andretti driver finished third in the IndyCar series in 2020, became its youngest-ever race winner in 2018 and has taken six further victories in the championship since.

“The FIA confirms that an enquiry was made via the appropriate channels that led to the FIA confirming that the driver Colton Herta does not have the required number of points to be granted an FIA Super Licence,” said a spokesperson.

“The FIA continuously reviews its regulations and procedures, including with respect to Super Licence eligibility, with the main factors being considered with respect to this topic being safety, experience and performance in the context of the pathway.”

Alguersuari ‘clarifies’ Marko comments

After making critical comments about Red Bull’s young driver programme in a recent interview, Jaime Alguersuari took to social media to revise his comments in relation to the team’s motorsport consultant Helmut Marko.

“I want to clarify something [regarding] Helmut Marko,” wrote Alguersuari. “I am deeply thankful to have met him when I was 15, Helmut was my teacher and someone who always asked me to deliver to push and boost myself forward and beyond. This is the junior team system and it works.

“I have not enough words of gratitude to [Red Bull] and Helmut Marko because they have showed me a way of discipline, of dedication and hard f****ng work that is helping me… reach other goals in my life, in my music and I’m 100% sure I wouldn’t be who I am today without being inside [Red Bull].

“When competing at the highest level, whether is F1, football, rugby or golf in order to highlight it requires an extremely demanding mind to look for more performance. Even if you win [Red Bull] will keep demanding you higher and higher and higher…”

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Comment of the day

Williams’s decision to replace Nicholas Latifi is hard to fault, says Adam:

Unsurprising given how poorly he performed against Russell and Albon, but arguably De Vries was the final nail in the coffin eliminating any doubt that Latifi wasn’t doing a good job.

The Williams is still arguably the worst car on the grid but in Russell’s, then Albon’s and now De Vries’s hands its still capable of turning a decent result while in Latifi’s it’s rooted to the back of the grid.

If the team wants to improve it desperately needs two strong drivers instead of racing with one car behind its back, so to speak.
Adam (@Rocketpanda)

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Christian Mateus, Selidor and Michael!

On this day in motorsport

  • 50 years ago today Jackie Stewart won the Canadian Grand Prix for Tyrrell at Mosport

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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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24 comments on “FIA confirms it turned down request to grant superlicence to Herta”

  1. ‘Did not deserve any of the vitriol aimed at him after Yas Marina’.

    No one did frankly.

  2. Well done Mercedes… But why has it taken you so long to use this fuel in your trucks?
    It’s inexpensive and has been easily accessible for at least 25 years already.

    Personally, I find it pointless to congratulate them on being so slow to actually put this into action, especially so given they are in the marketing business.

  3. That Algersuari backflip sounds just like what you would expect any victon of abuse to say after getting backlash for going public about their abusers… Of course it’s not Red Bull’s fault, they were just doing what they had to because Algersuari wasn’t good enough. I wonder what they said to him…

    I hope somebody makes an F1 version of the movie Whiplash one day, there’s no doubt it happens.

    1. @skipgamer: I’m not denying there is a ‘Whiplash’ situation going on there, it could. I’m also not denying Algersuari of ‘Whiplash’-feelings, because it seems obvious to me he experienced it like that. But I’m also not closing my eye to the possibility of Algersuari not having the correct mentality at the time so he just experienced it like a ‘Whiplash’-situation. While in reality it could be he stopped pushing when reaching a goal he was happy with.. only to be confronted with a team of people showing him area’s he need to work on.
      It’s just a one sided story which only tells us something from his perspective

      1. @skipgamer
        Excellent choice of movie by the way to make your point

  4. The news about the Spanish GP moving to Jarama sound good. It’s not that Jarama circuit looks that astonishing – it kinda looks like Spanish ‘Zandvoort’ – but the Barcelona one looks so uninspiring after so many years. The teams could practically skip free practice alltogether and they would still find a decent set-up for the track as they have so much data from winter testing and racing there every year. Plus the track simply doesn’t produce good racing year after year.

    1. Anything to get the Spanish GP away from Catalunya. Jarama hasn’t hosted since 1981 but the track has changed since then, and it’s proximity to Madrid is a real plus. I personally would have the Spanish GP at Aragon but that track might be too isolated.

  5. Remodelled, yes, but whether Jarama would have any space to join is another matter as for now, zero.

    Keith’s tweet brings up a valid point.
    Driver continuity into a season with considerable technical reg changes played a part in why he’s still racing in F1, but rule stability into next season & the fact Williams is independent on pay drivers these days changed their tone.
    The next Abu Dhabi GP will be not only his last at Williams but in all likelihood also the last in F1 for good.

    On a related note, COTD is spot-on.
    Since other drivers can maximize or even overperform a given machinery’s outright pace, so should him, so De Vries’ performance relative to him despite a big difference in car familiarity was indeed or most likely what ultimately determined his fate.
    The abuse he received was entirely unwarranted, though.

  6. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
    24th September 2022, 9:53

    Congratulations to Mercedes for trialling bio fuels. At least they are trying. Unfortunately I fear it may be a miss-step.

    This is a subject close to my heart. With the imminent prospect of grandchildren and what their future might be with climate change, it’s very concerning. Another reason is my mother died of a form of cancer linked to Nox emissions.

    I simply think Bio Fuels, whilst reasonable for some applications and scenarios should never become a mainstream solution for road travel. They have more Nox emissions than fossil fuels and the requirement for water and agricultural land on a large scale is unsustainable. A solar panel converts the energy from the sun at about 15-25% efficiency. On the other hand photosynthesis is about 1% efficient. We could talk all day about the farming, manufacturing and transport costs, but my feeling is BEV will become the dominant means of road transport in the next 20 years.

    When F1 teams start using electric trucks, then we will know the direction of travel and that they are serious about this.

    1. I simply think Bio Fuels, whilst reasonable for some applications and scenarios should never become a mainstream solution for road travel.

      Neither should petrol or diesel. Or horses.
      You were born with emission-free feet. Use them!
      Oh wait – you consume fuel and emit nasty gases too…. Conundrum….

      The fact is this – fuelling travel and logistics has been, is, and will forever be, a process of evolution. There is not only one ideal fuel – there will be some things that are better than others at various times and for various functions.
      Never deny any development in any direction as it may well lead to something better.

      When F1 teams start using electric trucks, then we will know the direction of travel and that they are serious about this.

      If they do, it will be largely for economic reasons.
      But don’t expect it any time soon. Not outside of densely populated areas, anyway.

  7. The FIA were doing ok with their statement on Herta until right at the end. So they’re saying Herta is either unsafe, packs experience or has shown too low a level of performance to compete in F1? Which is it for Herta? All of them or just one area?

    They should have just said “he doesn’t have enough points” and left it at that.

    1. “… in the context of the pathway.”

      As in, the FIA’s preferred pathway…. Which they have every right to protect, seeing as they created it and own it.

      The fact they they allow other series to earn points at all is pretty generous of them, really.

    2. Probably the middle one. Herta’s main experience in an FIA series at F1 venues is from his 2016 F3 season. Other than that, it’s mostly been regional series from the UK or USA. But the latter point also stands: if Herta had been more successful in said series, he would still have been able to get the required points.

      That said, Herta would probably be fine in F1, but he has chosen a particularly poor route to get there. Indycar rewards an all-round skill set that allows drivers to do well at street circuits, permanent circuits, short ovals and superspeedways. Herta’s main strength, ironically, seems to be those F1-style tracks but he still lacks a bit of pace at some of the other styles of tracks.

      1. So in effect, if Herta was faster on ovals, he’d be better suited to race in F1 according to the FIA. :D

    3. F1’s constant rejection of core US presence is astonishing tbh. They reject American teams, drivers, yet want to have “3” races there every year. The US fans should voice their displeasure and atleast boycott going to one of these races so that the F1 gods learn what is what.

      1. 20+ year American F1 fan here voicing displeasure! Super license points are as meaningless as the champagne region protecting “true champagne” or the VPN certifying Neapolitan pizzas. It’s very farcical. We can all name many drivers with enough SL points for F1 that have gone through the FIA’s preferred feeder system who will never get an F1 seat and also do not have talent. There are also the Mazepins of the world who again had enough SL points and only got a shot cause of money. The bottom line is that the teams can vet their own drivers. If Alpha Tauri wants to put an IndyCar driver in the seat for a season, or heck for only 5 races and then swap if he sucks…they should fully be able to do so. It’s their risk and their constructors points and stake. This entire situation is such a farce. It’s entirely bureaucratic and simply based on the FIA protecting it’s incredibly ineffective feeder system full of rich pay drivers. I’m very over it.

      2. Knight, I don’t think fans boycotting a race has any impact on F1. The bulk of their income comes from global TV revenues and from the fees tracks pay to participate, not from fans on the day. I wish I could say the US drive was about giving the series more credibility as a global sport, but the real point of trying to develop the US market is because they want the lucrative revenue that the massive US TV market would give them.

      3. No there protecting quality.
        Many (not all) usa-racing is about spectacle first then racing.

        It’s not the quantity, it’s quality.

        And the gossip aproach around Hertha is just harming him.

        1. Sorry, I don’t buy that at all. Except on one metric (engineering), I think there are many series across the world (including IndyCar) that have higher quality racing than F1.

          Be sure to watch the whole IndyCar, V8 Supercar, and Brazilian Stck Car series seasons, all the way through, before commenting on quality.

          On another current topic…if F1 drops DRS, that will be a big step towards bring F1 quality back up to IndyCar standards.

          1. In fact, excepting for the Indy 500 itself, it is F1 that is more about spectacle, pomp, circumstance, and tradition over the heart and soul of racing.

      4. @knightameer Haas have not been rejected from F1 for being an American team, and being an American isn’t causing any problems for Logan Sargeant over at Williams, where he’s being considered as a potential candidate to replace Latifi for 2023.

        If anything, Herta’s nationality was being used as an argument for why the FIA should give him special dispensation to race, with the implication that a driver with the same results, but a different nationality, would not have received anywhere near as much support from the teams or from the press as was given to Herta. Why should Herta’s American nationality have resulted in him receiving preferential treatment compared to a driver with the same results, but a different nationality, in this case?

  8. I don’t get the resistance to American’s in F1. I mean it made sense in the early 90’s when it started, but with all the push to get American’s to watch F1 and soccer it doesn’t make sense. American’s will never watch soccer, but there is a chance for F1 and you do it with a driver and a name. Andretti is legit and wants in yet F1 stops him on every front. Herta is a simple signing of some papers and you have a young marketable American driver. What is driving this?

    1. Some Americans watch soccer. When the WC comes here in 2026 it will be a spectacle unlike anyone has ever seen- I guarantee you that.

      Andretti wants to base his operation in the US- and that just makes things a whole lot more costly to keep bringing the team over to Europe and elsewhere outside North America. Seems he hasn’t learned his lesson since ’93 when he kept commuting over from the US to Europe and elsewhere for GP’s.

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