Sports Alonso sure Herta is happy in IndyCar amid F1 switch rumour

18:15  22 october  2021
18:15  22 october  2021 Source:   autosport.com

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 Esteban Ocon: Alpine Disagreements Not yet solved © Motorsport Images Esteban Ocon puzzles about the performance of his Alpine (Photo: Friday) While Fernando Alonso drove in Qualifying to the Grand Prix of Turkey 2021 in Istanbul on P6 (What is due to Lewis Hamilton's recovery of the fifth starting place) Alonso's Alpine teammate Esteban Ocon did not go beyond P12 in qualifying and just this twelfth starting place. The Frenchman admits that the discrepancies performed on the Sochi weekend are not yet solved.

IndyCar race-winner Herta has been touted as the next American to take the plunge and leave IndyCar behind for F1 amid reports his IndyCar team Andretti Autosport is nearing a takeover of the Alfa Romeo F1 squad.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1 © Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1

Herta's IndyCar rival Pato O'Ward believes the 21-year-old has everything to be successful in F1, while former IndyCar racer Danica Patrick also backed the idea for Herta to cross the pond.

Alonso too rates Herta highly, having seen him at close quarters when the Spaniard contested the 2020 Indianapolis 500 as part of his push to complete motorsport's triple crown.

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  Column: Andretti & Herta would be F1's American dream team A professional race car driver by day and drummer in a band by night, California surfer Colton Herta is as Gen Z as you ever will see. He's 21 with a perfect flow — Herta rocks the lettuce haircut — dates a University of Southern California co-ed and is a taco truck connoisseur. Herta is also the perfect candidate to become the first American driver in Formula One since 2015. Weekend reports surfaced that Michael Andretti is in talks with Swiss-based Sauber to take over the Alfa Romeo team and put his young driver in the last remaining open seat on the F1 grid. Is it true? The Andretti camp said there was no news beyond Andretti's stated desire to own an F1 team.

But when asked about his thoughts on the Californian prior to Austin's US Grand Prix, the double F1 world champion and two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner also pointed out that there are many high-quality championships outside F1 in which Herta could thrive, with the 21-year-old well positioned to be an IndyCar title contender for many years to come.

"I think he's a very good driver, very talented," Alonso said.

"He will be a good fit for Formula 1 for sure but each of us has a different plan in his career, and I don't know what Colton has in his head at the moment, because I'm sure that he's happy with IndyCar.

"Same as Alex Palou that won the championship this year. He's really committed to US racing and he enjoys racing here in the States.

O’Ward: Herta has "everything to be successful" in Formula 1

  O’Ward: Herta has Pato O’Ward believes fellow IndyCar driver Colton Herta “has everything to be successful” in Formula 1 amid suggestions he could make the switch with Andretti in the near future.If the deal is completed, it could pave the way for Andretti IndyCar driver Herta to join the F1 grid in the future, potentially as early as next season should allowances be made for him to gain a superlicence.

"You know, motorsport is much more than Formula 1. Even if here inside this bubble some people feel that this is the top, which is probably the top, there are other super categories."

Fernando Alonso, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet © Autosport.com Fernando Alonso, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet

Fernando Alonso, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

While Alonso played down long-held beliefs in the IndyCar paddock that its home-grown drivers are underrated in Europe, the two-time world champion does feel that the championship deserves more FIA superlicence points.

America's premier open wheel series is weighted in between F1's Formula 2 and Formula 3 feeder series. Herta, who finished seventh, third and fifth over the past three seasons, currently lacks the required number of points to be eligible for an F1 seat in 2022 unless provisions were to be made by the FIA.

"I think we all respect [IndyCar drivers] a lot, or I do," added Alonso, who starred at his first Indy 500 attempt in 2017 with Andretti but failed to qualify two years later with McLaren.

Column: F1 takes another run at conquering America

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"They are the best on an IndyCar circuit in an IndyCar machine and if they join Formula 1 they need their normal adaptation that we need if we go to an IndyCar machine, so it's no different.

"I think we all have the same level which is a top level for each category.

"It's difficult to comment on regulations and things, that's more a question for FIA or whoever is dealing with the licence thing.

"But if you ask me my opinion, for sure I think there are categories like IndyCar that have a level high enough that you should get the necessary points, like you do in other categories in Europe."

Kirkwood now free agent as he seeks full-time 2022 IndyCar ride .
Andretti Autosport's Indy Lights champion Kyle Kirkwood says he is speaking with other teams as he seeks to find a full-time IndyCar seat for 2022.Andersen Promotions, which ran Indy Lights up until this week when IndyCar took over, have stipulated that Kirkwood’s three guaranteed entries are for St. Petersburg, the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis 500.

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