Herta set to stay within Andretti Autosport camp

Although Harding Steinbrenner Racing’s future remains unclear, ace rookie Colton Herta appears destined to remain an Andretti Autosport-affiliated driver, despite strong interest from three rival teams.

Herta set to stay within Andretti Autosport camp

Mike Harding and George Steinbrenner IV have run what amounts to a fifth Andretti Autosport entry this year, with the team run by Brian Barnhart but populated by Michael Andretti-employed principals.

These have included Herta’s race engineer Nathan O’Rourke and fellow engineer Andy Listes, who have had a free and open data exchange with the engineers for AA’s four established drivers – Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Zach Veach.

Although Herta currently lies only third in the rookie standings and 14th overall, his startling speed has helped produce a win at Circuit of The Americas, pole position at Road America and has regularly made him a threat to the established aces in the NTT IndyCar Series.

Read Also:

Herta declined to comment on talks for next season but told Motorsport.com that a return to Harding Steinbrenner Racing “doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen.”

He continued: “There’s a lot of talk about what I’m going to do next year, none of which I really want to say yet. Anywhere I go, it has to make sense, it has to be competitive. If it’s not going to be competitive then why leave the situation I’m at right now where I can fight for poles and wins?

“Obviously if there’s something better on the table, you can’t wait, especially when you’re this young, you might not get another shot, you might get spat out like a lot of drivers do. 

“If there’s an established team that’s available, I think I have to take serious consideration into it. As of right now I don’t like thinking about contracts for next year, I prefer to get through the season. My sole focus is on Harding Steinbrenner right now.”

However, a source within the team has told Motorsport.com that both Andretti, who already had an option on Herta, has found a way to take up that option and retain the 19-year-old, despite all four ‘regular’ AA seats being occupied. It’s understood that nothing has been signed, but that a new deal should be announced within the next few weeks.

Among Herta’s suitors was the new-for-2020 Arrow McLaren Racing SP squad, formed by the recently announced merger between Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and McLaren Racing. However, that team will run Chevrolet engines, and Honda – like Andretti – was keen to retain an obvious rising star in its ranks. 

Herta, who was a multiple race winner in MSA Formula and Euroformula Open while racing in Europe 2015-16, said he hasn’t completely given up on reaching Formula 1, but that he would be equally happy securing a top seat on the U.S. open-wheel scene.

“I think you always have to look at Formula 1,” he said. “I don’t have a superlicense at the moment.

“I kind of see it as it would be great to do Formula 1, but if I get into a top team over here it would be great as well. Either way I’m not going to complain.”

shares
comments
IndyCar stars' Bathurst wildcard "a big deal" for Supercars
Previous article

IndyCar stars' Bathurst wildcard "a big deal" for Supercars

Next article

IndyCar qualifying at Pocono canceled due to bad weather

IndyCar qualifying at Pocono canceled due to bad weather
Load comments
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and series sophomore Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 22, 2021
How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar Prime

How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar

Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a breakout year in the IndyCar Series in 2021, winning twice and finishing sixth in points with Chip Ganassi Racing. How did he finally unlock the potential that was masked by five years of toil in Formula 1 with Caterham and Sauber/Alfa Romeo?

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win Prime

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win

Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Prime

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 15, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Prime

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star Prime

2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star

Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021