On Friday evening, Formula One’s governing body replied formally over the super license request made for American IndyCar driver Colton Herta. The Californian was short of points because during his Indy Lights season, the field was smaller than usual and so he was awarded less points than would have been normal.
Red Bull were looking to sign the American for their Alpha Tauri team alongside Yuki Tsunoda because Alpine had expressed a formal interest in their driver Pierre Gasly.
However Christian Horner revealed in Monza a condition of them releasing Gasly a year early on his contract would be only if the FIA granted Colton Herta his superlicese to repllace the Frenchman.
Herta has won 7 IndyCar races in 3 full seasons and is considered a fast but raw talent.
An FIA statement issued on Friday night said it had been a simple matter of the approach being dismissed because Herta didn’t have enough superlicence points.
“The FIA confirms that an inquiry was made via the appropriate channels that led to the FIA confirming that the driver Colton Herta does not have the required number of points to be granted an FIA superlicence.”
The statement made clear even though Herta did not have enough points there are channels where an application is still proper and should be considered.
“The FIA continuously reviews its regulations and procedures, including with respect to superlicence eligibility, with the main factors being considered with respect to this topic being safety, experience and performance in the context of the pathway.”
Christian Horner stated recently the FIA should look again at the value they place on IndyCar drivers with a view to facilitate American drivers from IndyCar backgrounds transferring into F1.
“America is a huge market and we’re seeing that growth in the sport,” said Horner.
“It would be great to arguably give the best current American driver an opportunity in Formula 1.
“Unfortunately, the licensing restrictions will probably prevent that from happening.
“We’ll have to respect the FIA’s stance, at the end of the day that’s down to the FIA to look at. I know that they’re doing that but we’ll accept whichever decision they come up with.
“But it’s something that needs looking at because it shouldn’t be so hard for drivers to transition from America’s premier series into Formula 1.”
READ MORE: Another FIA dispute with F1 teams and bosses