Red Bull: Gasly move to Alpine dependent on Herta F1 superlicence

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Red Bull has made it clear Pierre Gasly will only be free to join Alpine if Colton Herta is granted a Formula 1 superlicence for 2023.

Last weekend, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko confirmed an agreement was in place with Andretti Autosport and McLaren to release the American IndyCar driver to join AlphaTauri next season.

However, this is dependent on the FIA granting Herta an exemption from the rules that state a driver must have 40 points to be eligible for an F1 superlicence.

Currently, the Californian only has 32 and can't finish high enough in this year's IndyCar standings to claim those additional eight points.

Colton Herta Grand Prix of Portland By James Black LargeImageWithoutWatermark m69035

But Marko does believe Herta has a strong case.

“We looked at the regulations, we discussed it with the FIA,” he told F1 reporter Chris Medland.

“Because of COVID, there’s a special regulation that you can take three years (from four) and also if one result isn’t maximum points and outside the driver’s [hands] they can give the points.

“So it’s nothing unreasonable. He won seven IndyCar races and that’s comparable to a Grand Prix, so it would be a shame if he wouldn’t get a superlicence.”

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Several team bosses are against the move though, believing an exemption risks undermining the motorsport ladder most new F1 drivers in recent years have taken through F3 and F2.

And they have a powerful supporter in F1's big boss Stefano Domenicali.

"The sport needs to respect the rules," the Italian CEO was quoted by

"Of course, American drivers or other drivers are very important. If he is eligible to come in F1 because he has the points, it's fantastic news.

"But there is a ladder to follow, there is a protocol to respect, and that is the situation. So it's really what I believe is right to do."

All of this has implications for Gasly's future as Red Bull had said the Frenchman is free to join Alpine, with Red Bull if conditions are met.

“Pierre is a Red Bull Racing driver on loan to AlphaTauri,” Christian Horner told Sky Sports.

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“There’s a lot of moving plates at the moment which we are following with interest. So we’ll see how it pans out.

“That’s a key element. [We’re] not going to release Pierre if we don’t have something exciting to put in that car.”

In the 22-year-old Herta, however, the Red Bull chief sees just that.

“I think he’s an exciting talent,” Horner said. “He’s a younger American guy that’s been a standout talent in the US, so it’ll be very interesting to see how he performs in F1.

“And F1 obviously is growing in popularity in the US market at the moment, and to have a successful US driver could be very interesting. It could be interesting for us, in the longer term.

“We’ve got contracts with our existing drivers at AlphaTauri and they’ve produced a great stable of drivers for us to draw upon, whether it be Sebastian [Vettel] or Max [Verstappen] or Daniel [Ricciardo] over the years.”