Later this year Colton Herta for the first time in a Formula 1 car. The IndyCar talent signed an agreement with McLaren in early 2022 to conduct a testing program in the F1 car the team used last year. Last weekend, the 22-year-old driver from California spent a weekend with the British F1 squad during the Miami Grand Prix, where he got a good behind-the-scenes look at how the team works during a race weekend. Herta came to a clear conclusion after the visit: Basically, his employer works Andretti Autosport and McLaren in a similar way.
“The most surprising thing I found is that they are actually doing the same thing as us. There was nothing that really differs from how we work, except that they have a lot more people because they have to take care of a lot more things than we do,” explains Herta in an interview with RACER† “Your cars have so many things to change and so many sensors and computers to look at, while ours has most things standard. But in terms of operation, I was surprised how similar it is when the team comes together after a meeting. Everyone was very open to me and told me a lot of good things. It was great to see how everything works.”
How exactly Herta’s test program at McLaren will look like is still unclear. Where and when he will get behind the wheel of the MCL35M for test kilometers for the first time is also not yet known. The American will be busy with his commitments at IndyCar, which will compete at the Indianapolis street circuit next weekend. This is followed by two weeks of preparation for the Indy 500, which will be held on May 29th. Showdowns in Detroit (June 5) and Road America (June 12) follow. After four races, Herta is eleventh in the table with 79 points, 65 points behind table leader Alex Palou. That’s partly due to his crash on the Long Beach street circuit, at least that’s where he was headed for a podium finish.