Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto weighed in on the Colton Herta-to-Formula 1 debate, saying force majeure doesn’t apply to the American’s lack of sufficient Super License points.
Red Bull have been pushing the FIA to get an exemption for Herta to drive for their sister team AlphaTauri, as the IndyCar driver did not accumulate enough points on his Super License to be eligible to drive an F1 car.
Mattia Binotto was asked about the matter over the weekend of the 2022 Italian Grand Prix, and whether he agreed that force majeure could be a reason to exempt Herta.
“I think force majeure cannot be used for Herta. That will be a completely wrong approach,” Binotto said.
“Regulations are in place in order to protect our sport and make sure that we’re making the right process and choices for our sport itself.
“So Herta may participate in the championship, (when) he’s got what are the requirements to do so and not differently,” he pointed out.
So I think that’s very important and we will certainly overview what FIA will do in that respect, and I think each single team will do so because it’s for the importance of our sport.
“We cannot have force majeure or whatever are the situations, which is not a force majeure, certainly in that case,” the Ferrari boss insisted.
Zak Brown: The whole licensing system needs to be reviewed
McLaren CEO Zak Brown, who arranged an F1 test for Herta in Portimao, Portugal back in July, is adamant the American driver has what it takes to drive in F1, and while the rules must be respected, Brown insists they have to be reviewed.
“Mohamed [Ben Sulayem], the new president, he’s doing a lot of reviewing of things that he’s inherited and I think the whole licensing system needs to be reviewed,” Brown was quoted saying by RACER.
“I get that the rules are what the rules are, and the rules shouldn’t be broken. But I question whether just because they’re rules that are in place now, that those are the correct rules.
“Someone of Colton’s caliber or Pato’s (O’Ward) caliber or half the field here [IndyCar] are Formula 1 capable. So no one’s sure yet where the ruling’s going to come down.
“But I think if someone like Colton, who has won a lot of IndyCar races, isn’t eligible for a Super License then I think we need to review the Super License system,” Brown insisted. I think you take a look at the whole thing, but certainly where IndyCar sits, if you can win, what is it, seven race. The rules were written before my time, so I wouldn’t want to speculate how they came up with those rules.
“I don’t think Max Verstappen would’ve been eligible for a Super License. Kimi Raikkonen wouldn’t have been eligible for a Super License,” Brown claimed. “So you can go back and, look you’ve got a couple guys that are world champions that wouldn’t have got their license in today’s environment.
“We’ve had Colton in our car and he did a great job in two days of testing. So the guy can drive a Formula 1 car, no mistake about it,” McLaren’s top man insisted.
As a note, when Max Verstappen joined F1 in 2015 at 17 years of age, he had already acquired the Super License, however the rules were changed after he made his debut with restrictions on age and experience added.