Horner: FIA needs to facilitate IndyCar/F1 driver switch

Christian Horner, head of Red Bull Formula 1, believes the FIA ​​needs to address the supremacy constraints that have now frustrated an attempt to bring Colton Herta through IndyCar.

Herta, 22, is a seven-time IndyCar race winner who finished third in the US singles seat series.

He emerged as a surprise contender for the AlphaTauri seat in 2023 as Red Bull expressed their desire to bring an American driver to F1.

However, that was abandoned because IndyCar’s controversial low rating in the current FIA system means its results are not good enough to qualify.

In an interview published this week on the official Formula One podcast, Horner said what Herta had achieved was “absolutely amazing” in IndyCar ahead of the tough 2022 season, having finished third and then fifth in the 2020 and 2021 championships with Andretti Autosport.

Although the interview was taped before it showed Red Bull had abandoned Herta for 2023, Horner made it clear that Red Bull had not expected a successful outcome of his supremacy query and indicated he would like to review the system.

“America is a huge market and we’re seeing this growth in the sport,” Horner said.

“It would be great to give the current best American driver arguably F1 a chance.

Unfortunately, licensing restrictions will likely prevent this from happening.

“We will have to respect the position of the FIA, at the end of the day it is up to the FIA ​​to look at it. I know they do but we will accept whatever decision they come to.

“But it’s something that needs to be looked at because it shouldn’t be too difficult for drivers to move from Series 1 in America to Formula 1.”

The FIA ​​appears resolutely against making an exception even though there is broad agreement in F1 that the current point allocation to IndyCar is insufficient meaning that a review of this in the future is possible.

Red Bull was willing to consider Herta due to the spillover effects of movements elsewhere in the driver market.

Alpine wanted to promote Oscar Piastri to replace Aston Martin-bound Fernando Alonso, but Piastri joins McLaren instead, leaving the Renault staff in need of an alternative option.

This is likely to be Pierre Gasly, who has a Red Bull contract until the end of 2023 and is supposed to drive to AlphaTauri next season.

But Red Bull is willing to release Gasly as long as it finds a suitable successor, which it had originally hoped would be Hertha.FIA Formula 2 Championship, Sunday Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium

Having missed the American, Red Bull is now interested in 27-year-old rookie Nyck de Vries, despite having four drivers (after Juri Vips out) in Formula 2 – Jehan Daruvala, Liam Lawson (above), Ayumu Iwasa and Dennis Hauger.

Although all four have apparently been overlooked for the AlphaTauri seat for 2023, Horner said he believes they are all still promising options.

“We continue to invest in youth, we have some great youngsters in the program, all the way from karting and getting into Formula 4, and beyond,” Horner said.

“I think it’s something Red Bull has done very well, giving these kids a chance, investing in young talent, giving them opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have.

“Isaac Hajjar in Formula 3 this year had a great season for the first time. Iwasa in Formula 2 was an outstanding driver for me. They are just two of the players in the programme.

“Liam Lawson has had a tough year, but he is again another talent. Dennis Hoeger has been a bit disappointed in Formula 2 after such a dominant year in Formula 3. But how much is that and how much equipment?”

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