Colton Herta will still be the first candidate for Andretti Autosport to put into a Formula 1 seat if it enters the sport in future, admits Michael Andretti.
Attempts to purchase a controlling stake in the Alfa Romeo team fell through recently, with Andretti confirming earlier today it was due to “control issues,” claiming he was being expected to buy Sauber but not control the team. As part of those attempts, Herta (pictured at right, above, with Andretti) was being lined up to make the switch to F1 if an FIA Super License could be secured, and Andretti says that remains an ambition.
“Well, obviously if we do ever get a team, he would lead the way for us in terms of wanting to bring an American driver,” Andretti said. “He’d be the perfect guy to do it. Yeah, I mean, we definitely were going to try to get him into the seat because I believe he could be a competitive driver in Europe. I really do. There’s no reason why he wouldn’t.”
While Andretti also confirmed Kyle Kirkwood would have taken Herta’s seat should the F1 switch have happened, he doesn’t believe the near-miss has impacted Herta’s ambition within IndyCar, as he seeks his first title in 2022.
“(Herta has) very high expectations. He’s champing at the bit to get out there. The way he finished the season, he could have very well won the last four or five races, and he won two of them. He can’t wait to get out there, and he’s very excited about it. Obviously he was excited about the other opportunity, but he’s also very excited about hopefully going out and winning a championship for us.”