“Colton Herta was quicker than Giovinazzi and Raikkonen had been on the simulator”- Mario Andretti reveals the young American driver was faster than the Former Alfa Romeo drivers and how the deal with Sauber fell through

Janmeyjay Shukla
|Published March 02, 2022

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.

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“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.

Also Read: No plans on winning the 2022 Driver’s Championship for George Russell?

“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.

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About the author

Janmeyjay Shukla

Janmeyjay Shukla

Janmeyjay Shukla is an artist who contributes his expressions through words as an F1 writer and editor at The SportsRush. He is an F1 historian who has been watching the sport since he was a baby. Passed on from generation to generation, he has seen the prime of Michael Schumacher to the rise of Max Verstappen. A Mercedes fan from the days of the Brawn GP era, the sport runs in his blood. Besides Formula One, Janmeyjay is a Marketing Head and a musician who loves to sing and play Rock & Pop songs on guitar. His love for sports will never die as he is a loyal Liverpool Football Club fan as well!

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