Herta does not have a “Super License”, a kind of license required to join the motorsport elite. This document, born out of controversy almost 40 years ago (1984), has continued to evolve over time and should allow F1 to maintain a very high level of competitiveness.
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Therefore, every driver wishing to obtain the golden ticket must first meet a certain number of conditions (be of age, have a driving license *) and, above all, obtain a total of 40 points in the motorsport championships governed by the ‘International Automobile Federation.
Herta doesn’t have enough points
For each discipline, the authority has defined a scale to weight the rewards in points according to the level of difficulty. For example, a Formula 2 title automatically earns the required 40 units, while a first place finish in the Endurance Championship (WEC) earns only 30. And only 15 in the DTM. These points are cumulative in the last three years of testing the driver, or in the last two seasons added to the current one.
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For Herta, this is where it gets complicated. The American did not perform well enough in Indycar to reach the famous 40 pawn bar. He finished seventh in 2019 (4 points), third in 2020 (20 points) and fifth in 2021 (8 points). Have you done the math? He only has 32 points so far. He freezes.
In theory, the Californian cannot therefore claim a place in Formula 1. But there remains a small possibility: when a driver has more than 30 units, the FIA can decide, at its discretion, to grant him a derogation. The Herta case therefore has every chance of provoking infighting in Formula 1.
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Other teams have far less interest in seeing a young Indycar man land in F1. Officially, this could set a precedent and encourage other inexperienced pilots to try their luck. Unofficially, they fear that the buckets available are even less accessible for the young shoots they form, with tens of millions of euros, within their academies.
And the top of Formula 1, in all this? They could be torn. On the other hand, the arrival of an American driver could allow to accentuate the popularity of the discipline across the Atlantic, while the American market is already growing strongly. On the side, it would question its credibility, which doesn’t really need to be discussed. The tension could therefore rise again in the next few days …
*These conditions have been redefined after the many controversies related to the arrival of Max Verstappen in F1, when he was only 16 years old.
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