If the report is accurate, Valtteri Bottas, the Mercedes Formula One driver who will move to Alfa Romeo next season, wouldn’t mind having IndyCar racer Colton Herta as a teammate there. And, if you haven’t heard, Michael Andretti, the former F1 and IndyCar driver and current IndyCar team owner, is rumoured to be interested in purchasing the Sauber Alfa Romeo team and putting Herta behind the wheel.
Colton Herta to F1 would be “great for the sport,” according to Valtteri Bottas
Bottas told Autoweek, “I think that would be a terrific thing for the sport.” He feels Herta has what it takes: “I think he can make it if he has the kind of potential he has showed in IndyCar.” What about the fact that you’ve never driven an F1 car before? “Today’s simulator technology will assist you in learning,” says the author, referring to the tracks. “It’s doable,” says the narrator. The fact that the cars will alter significantly next year will also add parity to the sport, placing all teams on an equal playing field. With F1’s growing popularity in the United States over the last five years, Bottas believes that having an American driver would be enormous, thanks in part to the three seasons of Drive to Survive, which started in 2019. Thanks to the series, he recently vacationed in Colorado, “and so many people came up to me who were fans of Formula 1.” “ It is well-known all across the world.
But I believe it has been a very wonderful thing for the US market.” Bottas is particularly excited about the upcoming Miami Grand Prix, which will take place next spring. “I’ve been to Miami several times,” he continues, “and it’s a very lovely site, perfect for a Grand Prix.” Bottas also believes that the United States could sustain a third race, and he admits that Las Vegas is at the top of the rumour mill. He says, “Vegas would be fantastic.” However, he added that the United States has several appealing permanent tracks. What’s his favourite? “I’ve never driven it, but Laguna Seca has long been a favourite of mine.” He’s also a fan of Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, which will host the United States Grand Prix on Sunday. Bottas, who became the most recent champion after winning in Turkey, like COTA’s “fast-flowing character.” It’s at the top of my priority list. It’s ideal for my driving style. The track layout is pretty wonderful — it’s fantastic for overtaking.” Bottas led Friday’s first practise session at COTA, but will start Sunday’s Grand Prix with a five-place grid penalty.
Mercedes has chosen to run his W12 with the season’s sixth engine, his third in the last four Grands Prix. Mercedes has reliability concerns, which it is still working to resolve. This weekend, Mercedes customer teams Aston Martin and Williams will also be penalised. After COTA, he has six more races on the calendar, the most exciting of which being Mexico City, which takes place November 5-7. The course is “amazing,” but it’s the atmosphere and the “enthusiastic supporters” that really add to the event’s character. The 32-year-old Finnish racer has 65 podium finishes in 172 races. His solitary victory of the season came in Turkey, but solid results—often plagued by more than his fair share of bad luck—along with a strong year for his colleague Lewis Hamilton have put Mercedes in the driver’s championship lead. Turkey demonstrated what he can do when everything comes together—he won by over 14 seconds on a challenging track, setting the fastest lap of the race and earning crucial points that put him in third place in the driver’s standings, behind Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. It will be a struggle for him to switch to the Ferrari-powered Alfa squad next season, but he is up for it. “It’s a fantastic opportunity—we’ll be a long shot to win the World Championship, but nothing is impossible.”
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