Motor racing – IndyCar’s Colton Herta to test with the McLaren F1 team

(Reuters) – U.S. IndyCar driver Colton Herta will test for McLaren this year under new Formula One rules allowing teams to assess young talent in year-old cars.

McLaren gave no details of the testing program for the 21-year-old, who in 2019 became the youngest winner in the US-based series.

“Colton is a proven talent in IndyCar and we will be interested to see how he adapts to a Formula 1 car,” McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said in a statement during pre-season testing. in Bahrain.

“We believe this testing program will provide him with valuable experience while demonstrating the benefit of extending previous car testing to showcase promising drivers for the future.”

Herta, who drives for Andretti Autosport in IndyCar, said driving a Formula 1 car has always been on his racing list.

Michael Andretti has applied to the governing FIA to become the 11th team in the Formula 1 championship by 2024.

Andretti tried to take over Swiss firm Sauber, which runs the Alfa Romeo team, last year and said Herta would have been one of the drivers had he been successful.

Herta said last month he could not pass up an opportunity to race in Formula 1 if the FIA ​​approved Andretti’s candidacy.

McLaren also has an IndyCar team and managing director Zak Brown, an American, has backed Andretti’s bid to enter Formula 1.

The United States will have two grand prix this year, with Miami making its debut in May and Austin, Texas, a fixture on the calendar. The sport is owned by US-based Liberty Media, which wants to expand it in the Americas.

Formula 1 hasn’t had an American driver since Alexander Rossi, winner of the 2016 Indianapolis 500, in 2015.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Christian Radnedge)

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