An agreement has been reached in principle for Colton Herta to join AlphaTauri next season and Pierre Gasly to move to Alpine — if the FIA approves a Super License for the American IndyCar racer.
Herta has been linked with a Formula 1 seat but doesn’t currently hold a Super License, and requires an exemption from the FIA as he only has 32 of the 40 points needed to secure one. While a number of team bosses have stated their beliefs an exemption shouldn’t be granted, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko says a deal is in place should the governing body approve Herta’s application.
“Astonishingly enough, all of the parties and teams involved, we found an agreement,” Marko told SpeedCity Broadcasting on SiriusXM.
“First we have to get a definite answer (from the FIA) and I think it should be by Monza … Monza I would say.”
Asked if that would trigger Gasly’s move to Alpine or if those negotiations were separate, Marko added: “No, if the deal works then it happens in Monza, also for Pierre of course.”
While all of the agreements are provisional and Alpine is believed to still be considering other options at this stage, Marko is hopeful that the FIA will grant an exemption, having spoken about Herta’s potential prior to discussing a potential move.
“We looked at the regulations, we discussed it with the FIA, and because of COVID there’s a special regulation that you can take three years (from four) and also if one result isn’t maximum points and outside the driver’s (hands) they can give they can give the points.
“So it’s nothing unreasonable. He won seven IndyCar races and that’s comparable to a grand prix I think, so it would be a shame if he wouldn’t get a Super License.”
RACER understands the other parties involved include Andretti Autosport and McLaren, with the former having a release clause for Herta from his IndyCar contract if he receives an F1 approach. McLaren had an F1 option on the 22-year-old after signing him to a testing program this year, but is understood to have waived its claim to him over the next two seasons in order for him to chase a race seat.
Marko previously released Pato O’Ward from a Red Bull contract early in order to allow him to race in IndyCar for McLaren, with the agreement to do the same with Herta a reciprocation.
While the move still remains provisional until an FIA decision and Alpine would not confirm its position, it is understood Daniel Ricciardo is not one of the drivers the French constructor is considering as an alternative option to Gasly.