Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has addressed reports that Colton Herta could be in line for a seat at sister team AlphaTauri in 2023, with current driver Pierre Gasly being linked with a move to Alpine for next season.
Gasly is contracted to AlphaTauri until the end of 2023 but recent reports have emerged that IndyCar racer Herta, who tested for McLaren earlier this season, could replace the Frenchman – to enable Gasly to leave the team, perhaps to join Alpine when Fernando Alonso leaves for Aston Martin.
Neither Horner nor AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost have confirmed those reports, however, when pressed on the issue Horner said: “Look, he [Gasly] is a Red Bull Racing driver on loan to AlphaTauri. There’s a lot of moving plates at the moment, which we follow with interest. We’ll see how it pans out, there’s a few moving plates.”
Herta however does not have an FIA Super Licence, which is a requirement for him to be able to compete in Formula 1 – and which, as Horner explained, is “key” to Gasly’s potential release from AlphaTauri.
“That’s a key element: you’re not going to release Pierre if you don’t have something exciting to put in that car,” he said.
AlphaTauri boss Tost was tight-lipped over his 2023 line-up.
“I don’t know him [Herta], have never seen him,” he said. “I don’t care which driver Red Bull gives me; it’s my job to educate them. That’s it, whoever it is…”
Meanwhile Haas boss Guenther Steiner, who is yet to confirm his team’s line-up for 2023 with Mick Schumacher’s future currently unclear, was also asked whether Herta is a potential candidate for that seat next season.
“He’s not on the list at the moment because he hasn’t got the Super Licence, you know, that is the reason why,” said Steiner.
“But I said I think we are looking more to somebody who has driven already in Formula 1. We have done the rookie bit last year and in the moment, we look more to somebody who has been already in F1 so maybe, therefore, he didn’t make the list – and he hasn’t got the Super Licence.
“Mick as well is still in the running, because that will be the next question. So, in the end, we just go through the motions and we want to wait a few more races.
“Mick did a very good job in Canada, Austria and Silverstone, you know, and since then the car was not at par… and as I said, we are in no hurry to do anything at the moment.”