The end of Colton Herta’s F1 hopes?

IndyCar driver Colton Herta was linked with a possible move to AlphaTauri to replace Alpine-bound Pierre Gasly.

According to RACER, highly-rated IndyCar driver Colton Herta is set to sign a contract extension with Andretti Autosport, meaning the American driver will remain with the side beyond 2023.

Herta was centre of a huge topic during the summer break, as AlphaTauri looked into how they could sign the 22-year-old despite his insufficient superlicence points.

Despite being at the pinnacle of motorsport in the United States, IndyCar is lowly regarded by the FIA, with drivers in the championship being awarded a similar level of superlicence points to FIA junior categories, even if finishing towards the top of the Drivers’ Championship.

The FIA refused to budge on the current system, resulting in AlphaTauri turning their attention elsewhere.

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This doesn’t appear to mean that we’ll never see Herta in Formula 1, though, with his deal at Andretti meaning that should Andretti Global finally be accepted to enter a team in F1, Herta would be the favourite to race for the team, with the likelihood being that by then he’ll have enough points.

His new deal with Andretti comes as the family-run team confirms their line-up for 2023, with Herta said to be the lead driver once again for the outfit.

Herta will be partnered by ex-F1 driver Romain Grosjean and Devlin DeFrancesco at Andretti, as well as 2021 Indy Lights champion Kyle Kirkwood.

The seven-time IndyCar winner will continue to be part of McLaren’s testing of previous cars programme, despite having signed a new multi-year deal with Andretti.

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The young American has been gaining experience with McLaren during tests this season, in the Woking-based team’s 2021 car.

Fellow IndyCar drivers Alex Palou and Pato O’Ward will also remain as part of McLaren’s TPC programme, with the two actually taking part in a test for the team at the Red Bull Ring at the end of the week.

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Herta is regarded as one of, if not the best American driver at the moment.

He famously won his first ever IndyCar race at just 18 years, 11 months, and 25 days old, making him the youngest winner in the history of the championship.

His win at the host of the United States Grand Prix, the Circuit of the Americas, was astonishingly just his third IndyCar appearance, highlighting his exceptional talent.