Herta’s present contract was on account of take him by way of to the top of the 2023 season however, figuring out that the contracts of a number of different drivers are arising for renewal in the identical interval, workforce proprietor Michael Andretti has taken Herta off the market early.
The Californian had been within the body for an AlphaTauri F1 seat for subsequent season alongside Yuki Tsunoda, as a part of a deal to permit Pierre Gasly to maneuver to Alpine.
However the FIA’s unwillingness to budge from its present superlicence construction, with Herta solely on 32 of the 40 wanted to qualify for an F1 drive, meant that the transfer was denied. Nyck de Vries therefore took Herta’s half within the deal.
This has additionally ensured that Gainbridge, one of many Group 1001 firms, will proceed to assist the #26 entry by way of a concurrent contract extension.
“We’re actually happy to verify that Colton and Gainbridge will stay with Andretti Autosport for years to return,” stated Andretti. “Colton is a real expertise in a racecar and has pure dedication that makes him need to win.
“He’s a robust competitor and teammate. I’m trying ahead to seeing what Colton and Andretti can proceed to realize collectively.”
Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda
Photograph by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images
“We’ve been actually proud to signify Gainbridge, and to have given them their first racing victory with Colton in 2020 — and 4 extra since. On and off the monitor we share a dedication to compete on the prime stage and look ahead to seeing Colton return to victory lane within the yellow and black Gainbridge colors.”
Herta has seven IndyCar wins to his identify and, though two of them got here in his rookie season whereas he raced beneath the Harding Steinbrenner banner, this was an Andretti satellite tv for pc workforce.
“I’m super-happy and grateful for the whole lot the whole Andretti and Gainbridge groups have accomplished for me,” stated Herta.
“This can be a large step for me professionally and I’m so glad it may be with a prime workforce like Andretti Autosport.”
The wording of the press launch was notably open-ended sufficient to depart room for the Herta-Andretti-Gainbridge combo to enter F1, ought to Michael Andretti persuade the FIA and present workforce homeowners to permit an 11th workforce to enter, or (extra possible at this stage) to buy a majority stake in a present F1 workforce.
In the intervening time, for 2023 at the very least, Herta will stay IndyCar teammates with Romain Grosjean, Devlin DeFrancesco and latest teammate Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 Indy Lights champion who spent his rookie season at AJ Foyt Racing however has now changed Alexander Rossi within the #27 automotive.