Super licence points prevent young American driver moving to F1

18-10-2021 15:30 | Updated: 18-10-2021 16:01
by GPblog.com
General
Super licence points prevent young American driver moving to F1

With the possible takeover of Sauber by Michael Andretti the name of an American driver has entered the rumor mill. Colton Herta drives for Andretti in the IndyCar and would be a possible candidate to drive for Andretti's Formula 1 team if the takeover goes through.

Sauber taken over by Andretti

Michael Andretti, former Formula 1 driver and son of Formula 1 World Champion Mario Andretti, would be in talks with Sauber - competing this season as Alfa Romeo - to take over the team. With Andretti Autosport, the team owner won four IndyCar Series championships and five times the Indianapolis 500. Should the takeover go through, the team would also like to bring an American driver to Formula 1. The team has one seat left for next season.

Not enough points for super license

The name that is most talked about is that of Colton Herta, according to Formel1.de. The 21-year old driver drives for Andretti in the IndyCar and won three races this season. Herta also finished fifth in the championship. There is one problem though, Herta doesn't have enough points for a super license. To get a super license, and thus be allowed to drive in Formula 1, you need 40 points. Herta only has 32.

Herta's second place in the IndyLights championship would normally have given him enough points for a super license, but because the championship had fewer than ten entrants that season, it cannot be used for super license points. These are Herta's points
2018: IndyLights (2nd)- 0 points (normally 12 points)
2019: IndyCars (7th)- 4 points

2020: IndyCars (3rd)- 20 points

2021: IndyCars (5th) - 8 points

F1 chances for Herta

The chances of making the switch to Formula 1 in 2022 seem slim. Nevertheless there are still opportunities for the American talent. The FIA can theoretically make an exception when issuing a super license. Even if a driver only has thirty points.

Should that not happen, Herta would have to drive another year in the IndyCar and finish at least in the top three of the championship to get enough points for his super license. Another route is to participate in enough free practice sessions in Formula 1. Per event a driver receives one point for the super license. Should Sauber indeed be taken over by Andretti, we will probably have to wait at least one more year for a new American F1 driver.

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