Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta has said that he wasn’t “really stressed” about whether his move to Formula 1 would come to fruition, as the Californian native believes his current deal in Indycar is just as good.
The American who is currently regarded as one of Indycar’s brightest young prospects was on the cusp of making an unexpected move to Formula 1 in October when it was rumoured that his boss Michael Andretti was interested in buying a majority stake in the Sauber group, who run Alfa Romeo Racing.
However, just two days before an agreement was due to be finalised, negotiations collapsed because of "control issues" between both parties, with Herta staying in Indycar as a result of the deal falling through. Herta's loss was Guanyu Zhou's gain, who was signed by the Swiss outfit to replace Italian Antonio Giovinazzi.
Despite missing out on a chance to move to Formula 1 for 2022, Herta said he wasn’t too disappointed to stay in Indycar when he spoke to The Race.
“I was never really stressed about it because I had a great situation in IndyCar so if it would have happened, it would have been great. But, I was never kind of unhappy if it wasn’t going to happen because I do really enjoy and love racing in IndyCar.”
“So I had two very positive situations, I had a shot to go to Formula 1, but then also if it didn’t work out, I was going to be in IndyCar, which is just as good I feel.”
Formula 1’s recent growth in the United States has seen several American companies invest in the sport, with CrowdStrike sponsoring Mercedes whilst Red Bull is sponsored by Cashapp who are owned by the San Francisco based company Block, Inc.
Florida native Logan Sargeant is also tantalisingly close to becoming America’s first Grand Prix driver for over six years after signing with the Williams junior academy just before the start of the United States Grand Prix weekend. Sargeant also tested for Williams at the young driver test held shortly after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
However, Andretti, who had an unsuccessful 13-race stint with McLaren in 1993, believes it would be difficult for an American driver to enter the sport with a non-American team.
Herta was also asked whether an American could succeed in Formula 1 if they started their career at a non-American team.
“I’m not sure, because there’s a growing interest in America in Formula 1, we’ve seen there are some Americans over there that are doing well. And a lot more American companies and American money invested in Formula 1. Sponsors with Williams and obviously Haas but even Mercedes, CrowdStrike is an American company. It’s a major sponsor there.”
“So I think that can kind of help push forward an American driver and obviously, the market keeps growing in America for an American F1 driver. With more fans getting into it, probably mostly because of Drive to Survive, but yeah, it’s obviously a growing market for Formula 1 in the United States. It’ll happen eventually. There’s a lot of good American drivers right now that could do it if they’re given the shot.”