Two-time Indycar champion and double Indianapolis 500 winner Unser labored with Herta in his function as a driver advisor to Harding Steinbrenner Racing when fellow second-generation racer Herta made his full IndyCar debut in 2019.
The 21-year-old Andretti Autosport driver, who gained three races final 12 months on his option to ending fifth within the factors, was linked with a change to F1 when his crew boss Michael Andretti tried to take over the Alfa Romeo crew final 12 months.
Though this was unsuccessful, Andretti has since been engaged on plans for a start-up crew from 2024, and Herta has publicly acknowledged that he would “be lying if I said I didn’t want to do Formula 1”.
Talking to Autosport for a podcast reviewing his recently-released e-book, A Checkered Previous, Unser praised Herta as the present driver whose skillset most reminded him of himself, and remarked that “all [Herta] has to do is preserve doing what he is doing” to at some point turn into a title-winner.
Unser stated: “He undoubtedly will be an IndyCar champion, for sure.
“All he has to do is preserve doing what he is doing, he would not have to alter a factor and he will be an IndyCar champion.
“He is [also] younger sufficient, he can go into F1 and I believe he’d be aggressive straight out of the field.
“The primary time I ever met Colton was the 25 Hours of Thunderhill out in California. It began to rain, it was about 3am. I am on the market working and being tremendous cautious, then hastily this automotive catches me, blows by me and simply walks away from me, gone.
“I known as in on the radio, I stated, ‘Who’s that?’ They usually stated, ‘It is Colton Herta’. ‘Rattling, he is quick!’ In order that simply proved proper then, this child is unimaginable.”
When requested which of the fashionable IndyCar drivers most reminds him of himself, Unser affirmed it was Herta, whose father Bryan was a recent of Unser throughout the latter levels of his profession.
Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda
Picture by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images
“The one who most jogs my memory of myself, and Michael by the way in which as a result of Michael was my direct modern, it’s Colton,” he stated.
“Colton has a well-known father, he is obtained that legacy that he is obtained to reside as much as, in all areas.
“Colton is a manner higher qualifier than I ever was, he goes out and he will get it carried out and he will get it carried out throughout the races too.
“He makes only a few errors which places you in victory lane on the finish of the day.”
Herta completed fourth in final weekend’s IndyCar season-opener at St. Petersburg, gained by 2021 rookie of the 12 months Scott McLaughlin for Staff Penske, forward of defending champion Alex Palou (Chip Ganassi Racing).
Unser remarked that the championship is at the moment seeing a generational shift which he thinks will assist carry again the championship’s glory days.
Requested what’s thrilling him about fashionable IndyCar, Unser stated: “The groups are getting increasingly aggressive with one another and it is robust to go on the market and win the races, prefer it was once. I am enthusiastic about it.
“You have obtained a complete new set of younger, gifted drivers which can be the way forward for racing, so proper now I am seeing the altering of the guard, quite a bit just like the mid-to-late ’80s is when Michael [Andretti] and myself actually began the change of the guard again then with our era.
“I see that occurring proper now with Pato O’Ward [2021 runner-up with Arrow-McLaren SP], Colton Herta, these are your two vibrant stars which can be going to carry this factor again to its most profitable days.”