Formula 1 is having a moment in America. Viewership has increased in the States, American fans are invested in the sport, F1 is responding with three American races in 2023,
and there are several American drivers and teams who are all tantalizingly close to entering the sport, including Formula 2 driver Logan Sargeant, IndyCar driver Colton Herta, and motorsport team owner Michael Andretti. Today, we’re going to look at where each driver or team stands on the path to F1.
Logan Sargeant - When you consider the traditional F1 ladder that sees Formula 3 lead to Formula 2 and finally into F1, Logan Sargeant is the closest American driver to F1.
With multiple karting championships to his name, third-place finishes at Macau and in the Formula 3 Championship, and a current points total in F2 that sees him sitting in third with the possibility to move up to second place after a good weekend, Sargeant has proved to be a formidable competitor.
We have, unfortunately, seen these careers peter out just before or soon after they hit the F1 scene, with the most recent example being Alexander Rossi, who finished second in the 2015 GP2 Series before contesting a handful of F1 races with Manor Marussia.
Rossi was not re-signed for the following season, seeing him head to IndyCar instead.
Colton Herta - While Colton Herta has been rumored to be joining the Formula 1 grid for several years, his hopes have really started to coalesce this season, first with Andretti Autosport’s potential F1 team and now with AlphaTauri.
During the Belgian Grand Prix weekend, Helmut Marko mentioned that Herta is in the picture to join the F1 grid should current driver Pierre Gasly be released by the team to race for Alpine in 2023.
There is, however, one big problem: Herta doesn’t have enough points to earn a super license, which is required to compete in F1.
Motorsport.com, however, is reporting today that the FIA is “considering Herta’s credentials,” meaning that The Powers That Be could award Herta a super license based not on the current points-awarding system but by some other, currently unspecified metric.
Andretti Autosport’s Formula 1 Team - Michael Andretti has fielded successful teams in everything from IndyCar to Australian Supercars, but his next big goal is entering a competitive team in Formula 1,
making that team one of two American teams on the grid. Andretti initially aimed to join the sport by 2024, but there has been significant pushback from current teams — mostly due to money.
See, any new team wanting to enter the F1 grid has to pay an “anti-dilution” fee of $200 million, which will be spread across all of the current 10 teams.
This fee exists because, at the end of a race season, F1 pays teams from two distinct pools. One pool sees teams rewarded for their Constructor Championship finishing position.
The second pool is split equally among all teams. The addition of an 11th team would ultimately dilute the payment pool, and the anti-dilution fee only really covers two years of that dilution.
Andretti’s argument that the addition of an American team — one tied to a name as storied as “Andretti” — would ultimately capitalize better on the booming American F1 fan market than existing teams, which would result in more profits for everyone, even with the addition of an extra team.
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