As per 1978 World Champion Mario Andretti, Colton Herta was set to drive for Alfa Romeo in the postseason testing in Abu Dhabi.
Mario Andretti admitted that his son was set to take over Sauber in an interview with David Land. The team runs the Alfa Romeo F1 team, however, due to demand for full control by the owner, the deal fell through at the last moment.
The American family has filled out paperwork to join the F1 grid in 2024 under the name Andretti Global. FIA has denied to comment or confirm this as of now.
Mario Andretti thinks his son Michael was at the top of his game
Michael Andretti partnered with Ayrton Senna for the 1993 season however left the Formula 1 world by mutual agreement after the race at Monza.
“Michael, he stepped out of the cockpit way too early. Looking at my career vis-a-vis his he was at the top of his game,” Mario added.
“But he just looked at more of a future in the sport and to become a team owner. It was something that was always in the back of his mind. Never mine but his – and he loved the business side of it.” The 1978 champion said stating the business mindest of his son.
Moreover, the Italian-American also added about the triumphs his son achieved in Indycar and Supercar with his discipline.
Future World Champion Colton Herta?
Talking about Andretti Autosport’s IndyCar driver Herta, Mario Andretti had praises and praises. The 21-year-old is poised to be the first key signing in Andretti’s plan to join Formula 1 in 2024.
“Look at the talent that is demonstrated already. He was in Europe at 15 years of age and was driving alongside established Formula 1 drivers right now, young individuals like Lando Norris in Formula 4,” he said.
“He does not need to have a perfect race car to perform. In his own quiet and determined way, goes about it and gets the job done.” Andretti talks about Colton and what sets him apart.
“He went through the ranks and he won everything. He gets to the top level in the States and he wins there. Not by strategy or anything, by speed, pure speed, and elegant, super driving.” he said praising the young driver.
Faster than Raikkonen and Giovinazzi?
Andretti also spoke about being present in Alfa Romeo’s tunnel for a week. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, buy-out negotiations were underway.
“He [Herta] spent a week in the wind tunnel. On the third day, he was quicker than Giovinazzi and Raikkonen had been on the simulator. We couldn’t wait to put him in a Formula 1 car.” Andretti informed David.
Talking about the deal falling through, Andretti spoke about how the deal fell through with Sauber:
“Actually, it was always going to happen in Abu Dhabi. Then the deal fell through and the owners wanted to stay on with 20 per cent but have full control. There was no way we could go with that.” he concluded.