Colton Herta says he reached the limit during McLaren F1 test

Colton Herta is being linked with a McLaren drive for 2024.

Andretti IndyCar driver Colton Herta was full of positive energy after his Formula 1 test with McLaren in Portimao.

The American was potentially in line for a Formula 1 seat this season when Andretti Global tried to purchase the Sauber Group, but this fell through, so he stayed put in the American series.

He is now being touted as a possible replacement for Daniel Ricciardo when the Australian’s contract expires at the end of next year, and it looks likely, unless his performance takes a sharp incline, that he will depart ahead of the 2024 season.

One of the many names being linked with the seat is that of Herta, who has won seven races in IndyCar with Harding and Andretti.

READ: McLaren boss addresses concern he would favour American driver over Daniel Ricciardo

He did a two-day test with the British team in Portugal recently, and he came out of the car feeling like he had found his feet well.

“I do think I’m fast enough, whether they agree or not, I guess time will tell,” said Herta, quoted by the BBC.

“I felt like I got to the limit midway through the first day, by the end of the second day I was pretty confident putting the laps together.”

Given that he only had two days of testing in the car, the 22-year-old is pleased with his progress.

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“I did get really comfortable, I could feel the limit, maybe not the consistency that would come from a few more days but I felt like I was close,” added Herta.

Team principal Andreas Seidl conceded that it was difficult to compare Herta’s times to the Portuguese Grand Prix last year because of the different tyres and track conditions, but he revealed that the team was pleased with what they had seen from Herta.

“We take it step by step,” said the German.

READ: McLaren give honest verdict on Colton Herta’s first-ever Formula 1 test

“The team was quite impressed with how Colton was dealing with these challenges and his physical preparation was enabling him to keep going for two days, knowing how challenging this can be in an F1 car on a track like Portimao. 

“We’re very happy with how the test went.”

Herta partnered Lando Norris at Carlin in the 2014-15 MSA Formula Championship season, and they raced against the likes of Dan Ticktum and Jessica Hawkins.

The American took four wins on his way to third in the standings as Norris won the title, and the Briton previously described Herta as a “hooligan” for the way he threw the car around corners.

“I grew up with Colton, end of 2014-15, my first season of single-seaters and I mean, his nickname is ‘Hooligan Herta’, because there’s one place he was extremely strong and that’s high-speed corners,” he said.

Herta has won two races in two disciplines this season – he claimed victory in Daytona with DragonSpeed in IMSA, before winning the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Andretti in IndyCar.