Colton Herta says he’s tuning out reports about possibly joining AlphaTauri in F1

Colton Herta AlphaTauri
Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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PORTLAND, Oregon — Colton Herta receives a buzz on his phone alerting him every time his name is linked to a Formula One seat next season with AlphaTauri.

The speculation is so rampant that Herta said Friday he’s stopped reading the reports. He’s also informed his father, who acts as his agent, not to brief him on any discussions and leave him alone to finish the final two races of the IndyCar season.

“There’s nothing I want to talk about right now. I just want to focus on these last two weekends and have a little bit of time to decompress and figure out what’s going on during the offseason,” Herta told The Associated Press. “I told my dad, he’s been handling all my management things, I told him ‘I don’t want to talk about it, I don’t want to deal with it, I just want to finish the season.’

“And then we’ll look at the options and see if I have any.”

The 22-year-old Californian is considered the top candidate to become the first American on the F1 grid since Alexander Rossi in 2015. Herta has a testing contract with McLaren and in July took part in a two-day test for the team at Portimao in Portugal.

He’s got nothing else lined up at this time and McLaren officially won the rights to F2 champion Oscar Piastri when F1’s contract review board ruled Friday that the Australian is free to leave Alpine. Piastri will be teammates with Lando Norris for McLaren next season and that officially closed one option for Herta.

Herta has one year remaining on his IndyCar contract with Andretti Autosport, but team owner Michael Andretti has said he’d not hold his young driver back from an F1 opportunity. However, Andretti is trying to land his own F1 team to be built around Herta and was close last year to a deal to acquire Alfa Romeo Racing.

When that deal fell apart, Andretti shifted his focus toward asking F1 to expand its grid to an additional two Andretti Global entries for 22 cars among 11 teams. F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has said there have been multiple inquiries from interested parties wanting to join the grid.

Now comes speculation that both AlphaTauri might be for sale, giving Andretti another shot at buying an existing team, and that Herta is being eyed for a seat. Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda currently drive for AlphaTauri, but Gasly has been linked to joining Alpine as the replacement for Fernando Alonso.

Herta, who has seven career IndyCar victories and heads into Sunday’s penultimate race of the season ranked a career-low 10th in the series standings, repeated Friday he’s content racing in the United States. He also said he wouldn’t take a seat in F1 just to become an F1 driver.

“It depends on a lot of things. I want to be happy about where I am, where I am living, the team I am with. I just need to be comfortable,” Herta told The AP. “There’s a lot of different factors that go into making a decision of when you do switch teams and it’s nothing I’ve started delving into just yet.

“I wouldn’t just go there to be there. I would need to understand exactly what I was getting into, which I don’t right now. So we just have to wait and see what options really exist for me.”

Herta initially pursued European racing early in his career and moved to England alone as a teenager. But when his opportunities dried up he returned to the United States ahead of the 2017 Indy Lights season and won six races over two seasons.

It’s not been enough to earn him the required points for the license required to compete in F1, and although it has been floated that the FIA may examine his body of work and offer Herta an exemption, he said Friday he has no idea where any of that stands.

“There’s so much being said and speculated, I get the notifications on my phone all day. I just make them all say `Read’ and I don’t even read the articles,” he said. “Honestly, everyone else knows more than I do at this point.”

Herta even declined to speculate on where he might drive in 2023.

“No, no. I mean, I have a contract with Andretti for next year and I don’t have anything else right now,” Herta said. “I think there are some guys in this series, even if they were offered an F1 seat, they wouldn’t want it because they like racing in IndyCar so much. Nobody should be ashamed to be an IndyCar driver.”

Chase Sexton wins Triple Crown Anaheim 2 Supercross: Levi Kitchen unseats Jett Lawrence in 250s

Supercross Anaheim 2
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
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Chase Sexton won two of the three races in the Monster Energy Supercross Anaheim 2 Triple Crown, which was enough to overcome a fifth-place finish in Race 2 and give him the overall victory. It was the second Supercross win of his career.

“Super big night for me,” Sexton told NBC Sports’ Will Christien. “After last weekend with that being a struggle, I just need to come out here and stop the bleeding a little bit and I did that tonight.”

Sexton suffered a crash on Lap 1 of his heat, sending him into Last Chance Qualifier. The bad gate pick put him in a difficult position to start the race and he was able to climb to only fifth at the checkers.

At Anaheim 2, three riders entered the final race of the Triple Crown in a winner-take-all scenario. Sexton, Jason Anderson and Eli Tomac each had a shot at victory. It raised the intensity level for all riders in an evening that featured a lot of comers and goers.

Jason Anderson took the early lead in Race 3, which set him up for the overall victory. Sexton stalked and passed him midway through the race and then a minor mistake late allowed Webb to slip around as well. Anderson’s 5-1-3 gave him second overall.

“I had a tough couple of rounds, getting off that Anaheim 1 crash and then last week weekend I fumbled a little bit, but I’m excited to get back on the box and start moving forward,” Anderson told Jason Thomas.

Anderson finished seventh in the first two rounds of 2023.

RESULTS: How they finished for the 450 Main in Anaheim 2

Ken Roczen was the model of consistency in the opening rounds and at Anaheim 2. In three races so far this year, he’s gotten progressively better each time with a fifth in A1, a fourth last week in San Deigo and a third this week.

With results of 2-3-4, he earned his first podium of the season, which lands him fourth in the standings.

“This was hard earned,” Roczen said after the race. “I completely botched the start and then to have to work my way up. I only happen on the very last lap to step up here on the podium.”

Webb’s solid second-place finish in the third race allowed him to leapfrog several riders and finish fourth overall, but a seventh in Race 1 kept him off the podium. He improved in each race in Anaheim, however, with a 7-4-2.

With a 4-6-5, Dylan Ferrandis rounded out the top five.

The intensity of the race was a little too much for Tomac.

While battling side-by-side with Webb in Race 3 at the one-third mark, Tomac jumped wide and crashed hard. He fell to 14th, doing some damage to his bike in the process. He advanced only one position in that race to 13th. His first two races, a third and second, were strong enough to give him sixth overall. He retains the points lead, but it has shrunk to a gap of only four over Sexton and Webb.

Malcolm Stewart injured late in the week and was not able to mount.


Levi Kitchen became the first rider to unseat Jett Lawrence in the Triple Crown format at Anaheim 2 and won the overall with consistency. In his three races, Kitchen finished 4-2-2 to narrowly edge the winner of the first two races.

“This whole day; this is unbelievable. I took a few good slams in practice and I was down on myself,” Kitchen told NBC Sports Jason Thomas afterward. “The first moto I got a good start and got shuffled back, then I knew I just needed to be consistent.”

Jett Lawrence saved his best for last – which wasn’t hard given the struggles he experienced in the first two races.

Despite those problems, he entered Race 3 of the Triple Crown three points behind Kitchen after suffering a pair of disappointing races by his personal measuring stick. In the first and second 250 races of the night, Lawrence hit the ground. He dropped to the final rider in the running order in Race 2 with a Lap 1 fall. But in both races, he was able to overcome his mistake and close the gap so that he had a chance to take his first Triple Crown win of his career.

Click here for full 250 West Main Results

Lawrence rode to third in Race 1 and sixth in Race 2. In the final race of the night, Lawrence did all he could. He earned the holeshot, but when Kitchen fell in behind him, Lawrence’s fate was sealed. His 3-6-1 tied him in points with Stilez Robertson, but the tiebreaker goes to the final round and his win secured second-place.

“I can definitely say Triple Crowns are not my thing,” Lawrence told NBC Sports Will Christien. “We have one more to try and fix this, so hopefully we can get that done.”

Lawrence will move into the 450 class for the Lucas Oil Motocross outdoor season and his 250 record book will be closed.

The best news for Lawrence is the other riders who entered this round in the top three had a worse night, so Lawrence leaves Anaheim with a 16-point gap on Cameron McAdoo and 17 over RJ Hampshire.

Roberston finished 6-1-3 to take the final step of the podium.

“Getting that win in the second Main meant a lot,” Roberston told Thomas. “I wish I could have done a little better in the third one, but we’re still up here on the box.”

Mitchell Oldenburg used consistency to earn fourth in the overall. He finished 5-4-6.

After missing the Main last week in San Diego, Max Vohland finished 7-8-4 to round out the top five.

RJ Hampshire set himself up as the early favorite with his Race 1 win. In Race 2, it all fell apart. He fell in the sand section and damaged his bike, finishing last in that race. The final event of the night for the 250s provided only a 13th-place finish, leaving Hampshire deep in the points.

Cameron McAdoo hard crash in qualification, which was scary news for a team that has seen three of their riders sidelined with injury. McAdoo was never quite able to get his rhythm with an 8-7-5.

2023 Race Recaps

San Diego: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Tomac wins opener for the first time

Anaheim 2 coverage

Power Rankings Week 2
SuperMotocross tightens playoff schedule
Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence go two-for-two in San Diego
Results and points after San Diego
Seth Hammaker to miss 250 E season opener with wrist injury
Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner with injury
Injury sidelines Austin Forkner for remainder of 2023 SX