Colton Herta has been lined up by Red Bull as a replacement for Pierre Gasly if the Frenchman joins the Alps, with team advisor Helmut Marko saying agreements were in place with all parties as long as the FIA granted the American a super licence. Speaking to F1’s “Beyond the Grid” podcast before interest in Herta subsided, Horner noted that the 22-year-old’s performance in IndyCar made him qualified enough to race in F1.
“If you look a year ago, what he was achieving is absolutely amazing,” Horner said. “America is a huge market and we are seeing this growth in the sport. It would be great to give the current best American driver a chance in Formula 1. Unfortunately, licensing restrictions will probably prevent that from happening.
“We will have to respect the position of the FIA - at the end of the day it is up to the FIA to look at it. I know they do but we will accept whatever decision they come up with. But it is something that needs to look at because it shouldn’t be too difficult for the drivers to move from The first series in America to Formula 1. ”
Interest in Hertha came when Alpine inquired about Gasly instead of pursuing available Daniel Ricciardo, but Horner says he surprised Otmar Szafnauer’s team by not capturing the Australian.
“I think I might (sign Ricciardo at Albin) to be honest with you. They’ve obviously known him for two seasons and he’s been very much together during his last season there, scoring the podiums. He’s the kind of guy that I think you can rebuild.”
“Obviously it wasn’t a great experience for him (at McLaren) for whatever reason and you just have to think about some of the incentives he’s done for us – some of the wins he’s had, some podiums, some amazing overtakes he’s been able to – are still there, I’m sure. It just needs a little reset.
“As in all sports, confidence is such a huge component and for whatever reason he didn’t have a feel for the car, and across two sets of regulations. That probably has lost his confidence, but there is still a very capable driver out there. You just don’t forget How to deliver, so I hope for him to get another chance and bring himself back to Grid for next year.”