Red Bull Racing F1 team principal Christian Horner says Pierre Gasly’s move to the Alpine F1 team would not happen without the F1 superlicense given to “exciting talent” Colton Herta.
Red Bull has, in principle, agreed to release AlphaTauri’s slot and transfer Pierre Gasly to the Alpine F1 team to replace Fernando Alonso.
Christian Horner says Colton Herta is the only option to replace Pierre Gasly, suggesting Red Bull will not release Gasly if the IndyCar star cannot take the seat, and Alpine F1 teams are looking for another driver.
The problem is that the current points system does not qualify Colton Herta for an F1 superlicense, and rival team bosses say the FIA should stick to the rules and not allow force majeure as an exception.
More importantly, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has also confirmed that the policy has been adopted and he hopes the process will be followed.
Stefano Domenicali discussed Colton Herta’s problems with FIA President Mohamed bin Sulayem in Zandvoort last weekend.
Christian Horner has confirmed he believes Colton Herta could be a future Red Bull driver if he proves himself at AlphaTauri.
“I think he’s an exciting talent,” said Christian Horner of Colton Herta.
“He’s a young American and he’s showing exceptional talent in America, so it will be very interesting to see how he performs in Formula 1.”
“At the moment Formula 1 is clearly becoming more popular in the American market and it’s very interesting to have a successful American driver. It could be interesting for us in the long term.”
“So we have existing drivers under contract, but AlphaTauri and Toro Rosso have been with us over the years, with Sebastian[Vettel]Max[Verstappen]Daniel[Ricciardo]. It produced a terrific, consistent rider who can do it. “
“I think it’s an FIA problem,” Horner said of Colton Herta’s F1 superlicense status.
“We just need to clarify the situation regarding the driver’s points. I hope that will happen sooner or later, because obviously it plays an important role in the driver’s ride.”
“Obviously in terms of articulating the purpose of any driver looking to get into Formula 1 you have to know that you have a choice and if you don’t have that choice the other triggers don’t work.
Asked if there would be a driver to replace Colton Herta, Christian Horner replied: “I think Pierre is doing a good job at AlphaTauri. Said.
Red Bull’s favorite for the 2022 FIA Formula 2 Championship is Liam Lawson, currently ranked fifth and looking to qualify for an F1 Superlicence. Recently he completed an FP1 session with AlphaTauri at Spa-Francorchamps.
Interestingly, Red Bull F1 motorsport adviser Helmut Marko met Formula 2 championship leader Felipe Dolgovic at Zandvoort on Saturday.
Felipe Dolgovic doesn’t belong to any F1 team and could be a surprising choice if Red Bull decides to look outside of their own programme. His name is also associated with AlphaTauri’s FP1 race during its home race at Interlagos.
But when asked if Red Bull were interested in Felipe Dolgovic, Marko replied: “We are not in negotiations with him.
Helmut Marko also met F2 driver Enzo Fittipaldi in Zandvoort, accompanied by his brother Pietro Fittipaldi, reserve driver for the Haas F1 team.