Photo: On which side of the Atlantic will Colton Herta drive in 2022?
Marti Update: I am happy to report that Marti will be coming home Wednesday. She is strong enough that she will be safe at home. It has been a long road, and I thank everyone for their support these past four months. It has meant a lot to us.
Just my opinion:
Michael Andretti is about to take control of the Alfa Romeo Formula 1 team. The news, first reported by my good friends at Pit Lane Parley, gained momentum this weekend with reports from several news outlets. Immediately fans w began hand wringing over Indycar losing Colton Herta and Pato O’Ward for 2022. Relax. I think both will still be around next year, and both drivers should contend for the championship. 2023 might be a different story.
First, O’Ward is only getting n F1 test as a reward for his first Indycar win. I don’t believe McLaren has an opening. There is an open seat at Alfa Romeo for next year, and thus we have the panic about Herta jumping into it.
My first thought is Herta does not have enough points toward the FIA Superlicense needed to drive in F1. While that is technically correct, he can still obtain one.
A Superlicense requires 40 points, obtained through winning series championship and and winning races. Herta currently has 32 points. Driver who have more than 30 points can receive a special dispensation to drive in F1 next year.
The one good thing that could come of Herta jumping to F1 is that the 26 car would be open for 2021 Indy Lights champion Kyle Kirkwood. Kirkwood’s spot on the grid is uncertain at the moment, though I have heard some vague talk about a possible partnership coming together for him. Kirkwood is every bit as good as Herta, and it would be a shame if he were not on the 2022 grid.
I still don’t think either Herta or O’Ward will be in F1 next season. 2023 is more realistic. Whenever they leave, it will be a blow to Indycar to take out two of the best young drivers in a year which could also see retirements among some the older veterans. Will Power will be ending his two year contract with Team Penske in 2023, Scott Dixon will be 42 years old, and Simon Pagenaud will be 39. Helio Castroneves will be 48 after 2023, assuming he is still driving full time after next year.