IndyCar's Rahal slams F1 after failed Herta move: 'They don't want us'

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

IndyCar driver Graham Rahal has claimed Formula 1 "don't want" American drivers after Colton Herta's failed move for 2023.

On Friday, revealed Red Bull has ended their bid to sign the Californian as a replacement for Pierre Gasly at AlphaTauri, with the Frenchman set to join Alpine next year.

This is due to the FIA appearing increasingly unlikely to grant Herta an exemption to the superlicence rules, requiring him to amass 40 points over three years to be automatically eligible to race in F1.

Last weekend at Monza, many team bosses and even F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali voiced their opposition to exempting Herta, believing it could negatively impact the now-established path of drivers competing in F3 and F2 before reaching F1.

Also Read:

But this view was criticised by Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko.

"It's a shame that people don't realize what value an American driver, especially a guy like Colton Herta, would have for the booming American market, especially with three F1 races," he told the German publication.

Marko went on to call it "incomprehensible" that a seven-time IndyCar race winner could be denied a chance in F1 due to a system created to ensure young drivers had enough experience to safely drive an F1 car.

Colton Herta Grand Prix of Portland By James Black LargeImageWithoutWatermark m69035

The reaction from IndyCar drivers was also quick with Scott McLaughlin calling Red Bull's move "their loss" and Felix Rosenqvist declaring "it's so stupid...".

The strongest view came from Dave Moody, radio host for Sirius XM and announcer for Motor Racing Network, who said: “F1 has made it very clear for many years – they have no interest in US drivers, just US dollars.”

And it was echoed by Graham Rahal, who tweeted: “Damn right. F1 is an elitist sport. They don’t want us. Remember that.

"They want US companies’ money, they want wealthy US individuals’ money. But they don’t care about the rest. Always has been that way, always will be.

“And for those who want to say Colton Herta didn’t “earn” the right. You’re off base. He’s as talented if not more than the rest.

"He’s a proven winner. He came to the top and has done exceptionally well. F1 has had ride-buyers for years who don’t hold a candle to CH [Herta]. FACTS!”

Colton Herta Gallagher Grand Prix By Travis Hinkle LargeImageWithoutWatermark m66450

Herta too has also questioned why IndyCar is unfairly treated when it comes to points allocated towards F1's superlicence system.

“I think there’s a lot more to it and I truly do understand both sides of the argument,” he said.

“The FIA want to protect their ladder series and they want their drivers to go through their system. But I do believe IndyCar deserves a little more recognition besides being split between F3 and F2 for points.”