F1: Will Andretti find an American to drive his F1 car?
–by Mark Cipolloni–
Michael Andretti is hopeful that his Andretti Global team will win approval to become the 11th F1 team on the grid, and he hopes to be ready to field cars starting with the 2025 season.
Andretti has been clear that he wants to put Colton Herta in one of the cars.
However, Herta does not qualify to have an F1 license. He was rejected once already last year and his IndyCar performance in 2023, if it continues, will see him finish too far down the IndyCar standings to earn enough Super License Points.
There is always 2024, but Herta will pretty much have to win the IndyCar championship, or finish 2nd, in 2023 or 2024 to qualify to race in F1.
You need to have 40 SL points to get a license to drive an F1 car.
The full requirements for a driver are:
- Be at least 18-years-old
- Obtain a full, valid driving license
- Hold an International Grade A competition license
- Pass a mandatory test in the F1 sporting regulations
- Complete at least 300km worth of testing in a recent F1 car
- Two years of racing
- Obtain at least 40 points in the Super License Points system looking back at your last 3 seasons
How Super License points are Awarded
Winning the Formula 2 or IndyCar championship guarantees a super license, whilst the Formula E and Formula 3 champions earn 30 points.
|FIA Formula 2 Championship||40||40||30||20||10||8||6||4||3|
|FIA Formula 3 Championship||30||25||20||15||12||9||7||5||3||2|
|FIA Formula E Championship||10||8||6||4||3||2||1|
|FIA World Endurance Championship HYPERCAR||24||16||12||10||8||6||4||2|
|Formula Regional European Championship||25||20||15||10||7||5||3||2||1||0|
|Super Formula Championship|
|FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2||20||16||12||10||8||6||4||2||0||0|
|Super GT GT500||7||5||3||1|
|Formula Regional Asian Championship||18||14||12||10||6||4||3||2||1||0|
|Formula Regional Americas Championship|
|Formula Regional Japanese Championship|
|Formula Renault Eurocup (folded 2020, expires post-2023)|
|Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters||15||12||10||7||5||3||2||1||0|
|World Touring Car Cup|
|NASCAR Cup Series|
|Super Formula Lights|
|Formula 4 Championships||12||10||7||5||3||2||1||0|
|FIA World Endurance Championship LMGTE Pro|
|Asian Le Mans Series Prototypes||10||8||6||4||2||0|
|European Le Mans Series Prototypes|
|FIA World Endurance Championship LMGTE Am|
|IMSA GTD Pro|
|F3 Asian Championship Winter Series (folded 2019, expires post-2022)||10||7||5||3||1|
|National Formula 3 Championships|
|Indy Pro 2000 Championship|
|NASCAR Xfinity Series|
|Toyota Racing Series|
|International GT3 Series||6||4||2||0||0|
|FIA Karting World Championships Senior||4||3||1|
|FIA Karting Continental Championships Senior||3||2||1||0|
|FIA Karting World Championships Junior|
|FIA Karting Continental Championships Junior||2||1||0|
If not Herta, then who?
That’s a good question. If by chance an American driver wins the 2024 IndyCar title, Josef Newgarden for example, then Andretti could try to hire them.
Unfortunately, most of the top IndyCar teams (Penske, Ganassi, McLaren and Andretti) hire non-American drivers, so the chances of an American driver winning the title is slim to none.
Andretti currently has two American IndyCar drivers on his roster -Herta and Kyle Kirkwood – that appear to have the talent to give F1 a go, but they are going to have to finish high in the 2024 or 2024 IndyCar championship to qualify.
IMSA driver Ricky Taylor actually qualifies for a SL. Taylor drives for the Wayne Taylor with Andretti Acura team. However, his name never comes up in F1 circles.
Logan Sargeant is an American with a SL, and he currently drives for the Williams F1 team.
Sargeant appears to be Andretti’s best chance at this point to have an American driver in one of his seats, assuming he can get him away from the Williams team by 2025.
Sargeant has solid family financial backing and will have two full years of F1 experience under his belt by the 2025 season.