Herta focused on IndyCar future after F1 speculation

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Colton Herta’s buying his first house. In America. It’s where his future lies. But he remains open to racing in Formula 1 at some point down the road. Assuming another opportunity comes his way. At 22, he’s got time to continue pursuing his first NTT IndyCar Series championship with Andretti Autosport before making another run at F1. If it were to happen, representing Andretti Global would be top of the list, but a lot of things need to work out for all involved to crack the door open to F1. So for now, the focus returns to domestic matters, like testing with the BMW IMSA GTP team ahead of January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona, preparing to move, and working with the Andretti team to rebound from a 2022 season that didn’t go according to plan. With the topic of F1 no longer serving as a daily distraction, Herta’s settling into the offseason like any other IndyCar driver. “It seems like the F1 thing has run its course, and seems as if there won’t be an opportunity, which I’m fine with,” he told RACER. “It was something that I was honestly looking forward to trying, and I still might be able to try in the future. “But, you know, IndyCar was never like a fallback plan or anything like that. I’m always really happy to be in IndyCar and drive an Indy car. “It’s such a high level and such a competitive racing series that is so enjoyable. And the cars are really a joy to drive right now; this era of Indy cars is a lot of fun. It has a good power-to-weight ratio and great tires, so it is a fun car to drive, for sure. “But as far as the F1 stuff goes, it does seem like it’s quieted down, and probably that’s the end of it. At least for ‘23.” Herta’s name trended on Twitter for significant portions of July, August, and September in relation to his new F1 testing opportunity with McLaren Racing, Andretti Global’s bid to become F1’s 11th entrant, the efforts to secure a super license, and Red Bull’s interest in placing him within the AlphaTauri team. The low-key Californian didn’t hate the attention, but he is looking forward to a return to being asked fewer questions about F1. “It does get a little bit repetitive after a while but having your name in the media kind of propels things a little bit; sometimes for good, sometimes for worse,” Herta said. “I don’t think that it really changed my situation at all this time, but it’s always nice to know people are interested in you, for sure. That’s always a good feeling. “Not the people on the Internet, but the people that are making the decisions in the race team. I got my fair share of backlash, but also a lot of people were really supportive of it, which was nice to see.” As one of the more irreverent drivers in the world, Herta says he took the daily debates over his super license status and whether he belongs on the F1 grid in stride. For those who don’t know, the second-generation IndyCar driver’s self-worth isn’t based on whether he’s loved or hated on social media. “There were some funny ones that made me laugh a little bit, but I don’t really take it too seriously because my position in life is awesome,” he added. “I get to drive race cars for a living, so it’s a great position to be in where people are talking **** about you because you have an awesome job. “So I always take it wholeheartedly and I don’t really mind when people bag on me or say different things. As long as it’s not death threats, it’s pretty enjoyable to read for me.”

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