California surfer Colton Herta is as Gen Z as you’ll ever see. He’s a professional race car driver by day and a drummer in a band at night.
He’s 21, has a great flow (Herta sports the lettuce haircut), is dating a University of Southern California co-ed, and is a taco truck connoisseur.
Herta is also a strong contender to become the first American driver to compete in Formula One since 2015.
Michael Andretti is in talks with Swiss-based Sauber to take over the Alfa Romeo team and put his young driver in the last remaining open seat on the F1 grid, according to weekend reports. Is this correct? There was news beyond Andretti’s stated ambition to acquire an F1 team, according to the Andretti camp.
Is it possible? If Andretti has $200 million to meet F1’s mandatory buy-in cost, anything is possible.
Andretti is likely to attend the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, next week to further explore his F1 ambitions. When asked how his search was going by The Associated Press last month, Andretti indicated he hadn’t yet found a team to sell.
Andretti was irritated by the paucity of American drivers in the competition, and he rattled off a list of drivers in current F1 seats or reserve roles who he thought were better than Herta. His father, Mario, has been a vocal supporter of Herta all year, so it’s a safe bet that if Andretti gets an F1 team, he’ll want Herta. An Andretti-Herta combination is a money-making play for the globetrotting series, which needs American participation.
F1 was acquired by Liberty Media, a US-based investment business, in 2017 and has been slowly gaining traction in North America. The famous Netflix behind-the-scenes “Drive To Survive” docuseries gave the series valuable American exposure, and next May’s maiden race in Miami surrounding the Dolphins’ NFL stadium will give F1 four North American stops in 2022.
Although F1 has one American team owner, Gene Haas has shown little interest in investing in the development of an American driver since 2016. This year, he hired German rookie Mick Schumacher and Russian rookie Nikita Mazepin, but the team has plummeted from a mid-pack organization to the worst in Formula One.
Michael Andretti drove a miserable 13 races for McLaren in 1993 before being sent back to the United States for good with three races remaining. Mario Andretti won 12 F1 races and the 1978 world championship; Michael Andretti drove a miserable 13 races for McLaren in 1993 before being sent back to the United States for good with three races remaining. Both believe that the red, white, and blue deserve fair F1 representation, as well as a driver who will race under the American flag.
The uniforms of Formula One racing drivers are currently available at the following websites for a reasonable price: