Logan Sargeant, Colton Herta, and Andretti



Logan Sargeant after finishing second in the 2022 Azerbaijan Formula 2 feature race.

Logan Sargeant after ending second within the 2022 Azerbaijan Method 2 function race.
Picture: Clive Rose (Getty Photos)

Formula 1 is having a moment in America. Viewership has elevated within the States, American followers are invested within the sport, F1 is responding with three American races in 2023, and there are a number of American drivers and groups who’re all tantalizingly near getting into the game, together with Method 2 driver Logan Sargeant, IndyCar driver Colton Herta, and motorsport crew proprietor Michael Andretti. Right now, we’re going to have a look at the place every driver or crew stands on the trail to F1.

Logan Sargeant

Logan Sargeant after winning the first Formula 3 race of the 2021 Russian Grand Prix weekend.

Logan Sargeant after profitable the primary Method 3 race of the 2021 Russian Grand Prix weekend.
Picture: Bryn Lennon (Getty Photos)

When you think about the normal F1 ladder that sees Method 3 result in Method 2 and at last into F1, Logan Sargeant is the closest American driver to F1. With a number of karting championships to his identify, third-place finishes at Macau and within the Method 3 Championship, and a present factors complete in F2 that sees him sitting in third with the chance to maneuver as much as second place after weekend, Sargeant has proved to be a formidable competitor.

We’ve, sadly, seen these careers peter out simply earlier than or quickly after they hit the F1 scene, with the latest instance being Alexander Rossi, who completed second within the 2015 GP2 Collection earlier than contesting a handful of F1 races with Manor Marussia. Rossi was not re-signed for the next season, seeing him head to IndyCar as a substitute.

Will that occur to Sargeant? It might, however Sargeant has one thing Rossi by no means had: A seat at an F1 driver academy. Sargeant is presently signed up with the Williams crew and will likely be making his F1 free observe 1 debut throughout the US Grand Prix weekend this October, inching him ever nearer to a coveted full-time F1 seat.

Sargeant additionally has greater than sufficient factors to safe a superlicense for 2023, which is one thing different American choices are missing. And with Nicholas Latifi doubtless out of the image at Williams for 2023, Sargeant is a superb selection if the crew is aiming to select a driver out its academy lineup. He’s proved he may be aggressive wherever he races, out-performing his teammates repeatedly.

Is Williams the perfect option to show the skills of America’s subsequent nice hope? Contemplating the crew is presently sitting tenth within the F1 Constructors Championship, most likely not — however a foot within the door and the flexibility to determine your self as a fascinating driver can’t be overstated.

Colton Herta

Colton Herta ahead of the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Colton Herta forward of the one hundred and fifth operating of the Indianapolis 500.
Picture: Stacy Revere (Getty Photos)

Whereas Colton Herta has been rumored to be becoming a member of the Method 1 grid for a number of years, his hopes have actually began to coalesce this season, first with Andretti Autosport’s potential F1 crew and now with AlphaTauri.

Throughout the Belgian Grand Prix weekend, Helmut Marko talked about that Herta is within the image to hitch the F1 grid ought to present driver Pierre Gasly be launched by the crew to race for Alpine in 2023. There’s, nevertheless, one massive downside: Herta doesn’t have sufficient factors to earn a superlicense, which is required to compete in F1.

Motorsport.com, nevertheless, is reporting at present that the FIA is “contemplating Herta’s credentials,” which means that The Powers That Be might award Herta a superlicense based mostly not on the present points-awarding system however by another, presently unspecified metric.

That being stated, Herta is pretty near a superlicense. He presently possesses 32 factors, with 40 being the mark to hit. He can even acquire as much as six factors by getting into F1 free observe 1 classes for the rest of the yr (discounting, after all, the upcoming Dutch and Italian Grands Prix, which battle with IndyCar).

Nonetheless, the FIA doesn’t want laborious numbers. From Motorsport.com:

Crucially nevertheless the FIA has given itself some wiggle room, as one clause of the ISC notes {that a} superlicense might nonetheless go to a driver who misses out on the opposite {qualifications}. That’s the case if they’ve “scored a minimal of 30 superlicense factors however judged on the sole dedication of the FIA as unable to qualify beneath any of the a) to c) above, whereas taking part in a number of of the championships listed in Complement 1, resulting from circumstances outdoors their management or causes of power majeure.

The place does that come into play for Herta? Nicely, ought to he apply for a full-season superlicense, he might rely the most effective three of his seasons of competitors again to 2018 towards the entire. The massive downside, although, is that his second-place end in Indy Lights that yr presently doesn’t rely, since there have been fewer than 10 drivers competing that season.

That, although, was outdoors of Herta’s management. The FIA might theoretically enable these 12 factors to be counted. He might then rely 20 factors for 2020 and eight for 2021, which might give him 40 factors — sufficient for a superlicense.

Clearly, of us within the F1 paddock aren’t completely happy, with one supply saying, “If [Herta] will get a license we’d as nicely all cease investing F3 and F2.”

It’s completely attainable that we might see Herta in Method 1 subsequent yr — however it will require F1 and the FIA to be very motivated to signal him over all of the attainable candidates who presently maintain a superlicense.

Andretti Autosport’s Method 1 Crew

Michael Andretti at an open test for the Indy 500.

Michael Andretti at an open check for the Indy 500.
Picture: Joe Skibinski / Penske Leisure

Michael Andretti has fielded profitable groups in every little thing from IndyCar to Australian Supercars, however his subsequent massive aim is getting into a aggressive crew in Method 1, making that crew considered one of two American groups on the grid. Andretti initially aimed to hitch the game by 2024, however there was vital pushback from present groups — largely resulting from cash.

See, any new crew desirous to enter the F1 grid has to pay an “anti-dilution” price of $200 million, which will likely be unfold throughout the entire present 10 groups. This price exists as a result of, on the finish of a race season, F1 pays groups from two distinct swimming pools. One pool sees groups rewarded for his or her Constructor Championship ending place. The second pool is break up equally amongst all groups. The addition of an eleventh crew would finally dilute the cost pool, and the anti-dilution price solely actually covers two years of that dilution.

Andretti’s argument that the addition of an American crew — one tied to a reputation as storied as “Andretti” — would finally capitalize higher on the booming American F1 fan market than present groups, which might lead to extra income for everybody, even with the addition of an additional crew.

Current groups have a cause to be skeptical, although. Haas F1 can also be an American crew, and apart from a number of native activations throughout the U.S. Grand Prix race weekend and a few of the extra excellent characters on Netflix docuseries Drive to Survive, the crew hasn’t actually introduced an enormous inflow of followers or money to F1. Now, if the crew intends to hitch F1, it’ll doubtless be coming in at a later date — presumably coinciding with the introduction of recent laws in 2026.

A rising American presence in F1 is tantalizingly shut. Right here’s to hoping we see it enhance within the close to future.

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