Herta’s F1 McLaren Test Deal-Step Toward His Future?

Saturdays don’t usually start with driver news, so to see a story about Colton Herta signing an F1 development deal with McLaren was a shock to wake up to.

First, let’s look at what the deal is NOT:

It will not affect his Indycar schedule.

Herta will not participate in the first free practice on Friday of a Grand Prix weekend as of now, but there are two opportunities in the United States- Miami in May and Austin in October- which might change that. It is unlikely.

The deal does not affect Pato O’Ward’s status with McLaren. O’Ward is still a long way from F1.

Herta is not in line for a McLaren Formula 1 ride. Lando Norris is locked for several years, Daniel Riccardo is believed to have a contract through 2023.

The deals allows Herta to test in a Formula 1 car. The program allows testing in a 2021 or older car. This program is to develop drivers, not equipment.

From what I have seen, McLaren CEO Zak Brown is helping Michael Andretti should Andretti’s bid to gain entry into Formula 1 for 2024 is successful. He will have a young American driver with some familiarity with F1 machinery.

I think this allows Herta fans the best of both worlds. He will be in Indycar for at least two more seasons, while getting time in an F1 car. After that we will see what happens. Herta will be a great story to follow in F1.

Perhaps we could look ahead to 2026. After a fierce battle between O’Ward and Herta for the Indycar championship, both end up in F1 on teams that are equal. They fight each other all year for points.

The bottom line is I would hate for either of them to leave Indycar, but to get to F1, they just have a couple years if they want to make the move.

McLaren Completes Agreement to Acquire Majority Share of AMSP

Image from McLaren

A press release from McLaren this morning:

29 November

McLaren Racing confirms today that it has completed the agreement to acquire the majority shareholding in the Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar team by the end of the year.

The conclusion of the agreement means that McLaren Racing will become the majority shareholder in the team with a controlling 75% stake, with Arrow McLaren SP to formally be part of the McLaren Racing organisation.

The team will be governed by a five-person board, comprising three McLaren Racing appointees, Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson and will be chaired by McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown.

Taylor Kiel, President of Arrow McLaren SP, will be accountable to Brown and the board for the overall operations and performance of the team.

Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.


About McLaren Racing

McLaren Racing was founded by New Zealand racing driver Bruce McLaren in 1963. The team entered its first Formula 1 race in 1966, since then McLaren has won 20 Formula 1 world championships, more than 180 Formula 1 grands prix, the Le Mans 24 Hours at its first attempt and the Indianapolis 500 three times. McLaren Racing currently competes in Formula 1 globally and INDYCAR in the US. 

The team is contesting the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship with Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, and in the 2021 INDYCAR Series with Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist. McLaren was the first F1 team to be certified carbon neutral ten years ago and has successfully retained the Carbon Trust Standard Award, most recently in February 2021. They were also the first team to be awarded the FIA Institute’s Environmental Award in 2013, which they have consistently maintained at three-star level.

In 2022, McLaren Racing will enter a new category of motorsport when it enters a team into Extreme E, the innovative all-electric off-road racing series that highlights the impact of climate change.

About Arrow McLaren SP 

Arrow McLaren SP represents three determined entities – Arrow Electronics, McLaren Racing and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – who joined forces at the end of 2019 in a strategic partnership with a clear aim: to compete for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship and the Indianapolis 500. 

Arrow McLaren SP fields two cars in the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES: the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet piloted by Pato O’Ward; and the No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet piloted by Felix Rosenqvist. The team also fielded Juan Pablo Montoya in the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Follow the team on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube at @ArrowMcLarenSP and online at http://www.arrowmclarensp.com