Andretti Signed Colton Herta for Four Years

Andretti Signed Colton Herta for Four Years Featured Image

It seems like Colton Herta has put his dreams of racing in Formula One on hold. He has signed a four-year contract extension with the Andretti Autosport IndyCar team that would keep him there until 2027.

Just How Big of a Deal Is Tuesday’s Extended Announcement

The significance of the extension announced on Tuesday is that it prevents Herta from being poached by the top IndyCar teams when his current contract with Andretti ends after the 2023 season.

This indicates that he and team owner Michael Andretti have come to terms with the fact that they will not be competing in Formula One in the near future.

Herta will continue to pilot the No. 26 Andretti Autosport IndyCar for the near future, thanks in large part to the support of Gainbridge, a sponsor that also renewed its contract around the same time.

Michael Andretti praised Colton, saying, “Colton has a great talent in a racing vehicle and has the innate desire that makes him want to win.” “We’re honored to have been chosen to speak for Gainbridge.

We’re both dedicated to excelling at the highest levels of competition, and we can’t wait to cheer on Colton as he wears the yellow and black of Gainbridge to another triumph.”

It is a disappointing end to a year of difficulties for Herta, who at 22 appeared ready to make history as the first American driver in F1 since Alexander Rossi in 2015.

Unfortunately for him, the FIA (the organization in charge of Formula One) refused to provide Herta the necessary Super License for him to participate in the international championship.

Andretti Global Appears to Embrace Reality by Extending Their Contract

By extending their contract, Andretti Global seems to be accepting the reality that they will not be rejoining Formula One’s current 10-team grid any time soon. With the help of Gainbridge, Michael Andretti intended to persuade the FIA to allow two American-owned cars, one of which would be driven by Herta.

Herta was able to leave Andretti for an F1 chance, but he is stuck in IndyCar due to the absence of a Super License, which is not well received by the current F1 teams.

Andretti Signed Colton Herta for Four Years Post Image

Herta, in a statement released by Andretti, expressed his “super happiness and gratitude” for the efforts of both the Andretti and Gainbridge teams.

“For my career, this is a huge step forward, and I couldn’t be happier that it’s happening with such a prestigious organization as Andretti Autosport.

Even though we have a lot of work to do to achieve our goals, I couldn’t be prouder to do it with this team and to be a part of the Gainbridge family.”

From an IndyCar point of view, the deal is monumental: Alex Palou’s departure to McLaren in 2024 will free up the No. 10 car at Chip Ganassi Racing.

While defending series champion Will Power enters a contract year at No. 12 for Team Penske and six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon turns 43 in his 21st season with Ganassi.

Andretti Global Appears to Embrace Reality by Extending Their Contract

Herta, who this year signed a testing contract with McLaren, is another source of considerable F1 excitement. But at the moment, Herta does not have enough points to get F1’s mandatory license, in large part because IndyCar is undervalued in the ranking system.

Neither IndyCar nor NASCAR is governed by the FIA, which places them in the middle of the pack.

Herta is a seven-time race winner who became IndyCar’s youngest-ever winner in 2019 just days before his 19th birthday. Red Bull requested that he be granted a waiver for a Super License. Red Bull had planned to have Herta drive for its AlphaTauri junior team in the upcoming season, but the FIA said no.

Herta’s inability to compete in Formula One due to his lack of a license is the primary reason the Californian skipped out on last weekend’s U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

At the Miami Grand Prix in May, Herta was a popular figure after attending as a guest of McLaren and requesting a diagram of the steering wheel and a seat in the F1 car. Two months later, at a McLaren F1 test, Herta showed up fully prepared and wowed on the track, sparking interest from other teams to sign the American.

Meanwhile, McLaren courted too many drivers to keep track of, and Herta found himself out of the rotation after the team announced it would satisfy F1′s development driver rule by fielding Palou (a Spaniard) in the free first practice for the U.S. GP, and Pato O’Ward (a Mexican) in the season finale at Abu Dhabi.

Finishing Line

Herta was officially no longer a part of McLaren’s 2023 plans, and the team opted to hire up-and-coming Australian driver Oscar Piastri for the team’s second seat on the grid.

Williams has announced that if Florida’s Logan Sargeant, age 21, earns his Super License before the end of the season, he would replace Herta in F1 for the 2019 season.

If that happens, Williams will have succeeded in signing the hottest new American driver from Formula One’s most rapidly expanding market.

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