Herta’s push into F1 continues; Driver still mom in 2023 plans

PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) – McLaren is backing Colton Hertha getting an exemption to compete in Formula 1 next season, and Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko says a deal is in place to bring the American to the grid.

Marco told SiriusXM that any deal would depend on Herta, the 22-year-old IndyCar star from California, who gets an exemption from F1’s governing body for the super license required to compete.

“It is surprising that all the parties and teams involved have come to an agreement,” Marko said. “First we have to get a definitive answer (from the FIA) and I think it should be by Monza,” the website of the upcoming F1 race.

The Dutch Grand Prix has been full of rumors and speculation that Herta is ready to secure a seat in 2023 with AlphaTauri, Red Bull’s junior team. That led to an impassioned debate about driver licensing rules and if Herta, winner of seven races over four IndyCar seasons, should be considered for an FIA exemption.

McLaren boss Zak Brown told The Associated Press that the team supports the FIA’s removal of Hertha from the competition. Herta is under an IndyCar contract with Andretti Autosport until 2023 but has an F1 contract with McLaren until 2024.

Herta tested with McLaren in Portugal over two days in July and was on the McLaren simulator.