Herta has been heavily tipped for a seat at AlphaTauri next season should Pierre Gasly move to Alpine, but the seven-time IndyCar race winner lacks the super license points needed to switch to F1.
With the FIA clear it would not change its rules to make an exception for Herta, Red Bull have now given up their attempts to sign him and switched their attention to Nyck de Vries after his Williams cameo at Monza, with Herta F1 prospects appearing to be dotted
Rossi remains the most recent American driver to have raced in F1, completing five grands prix for Manor in the 2015 season, and has been Herta’s teammate at the Andretti Autosport IndyCar team for the past three seasons.
The 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner, who will move to the Arrow McLaren SP team next season, wrote in a statement posted on social media that Herta “has the talent and ability to be in F1”.
While supporting the premise of the super-licensing system, by avoiding money being the main motivating factor behind the hiring of drivers, Rossi said it was a shame it was necessary at all, saying “past decisions, whether out of greed or need” had created an unnecessary stumbling block.
He echoed comments made by his new IndyCar team boss Zak Brown, who has run Herta in a year-old McLaren F1 car, who argued that “the entire licensing system needs to be overhauled”.
Writing that he was “so sick and tired of this back and forth” regarding the super-licensing system, Rossi said: “The whole premise was to stop people buying their way into F1 and allow talent to be the motivating factor. That’s great. .
“We all agree that Colton has the talent and ability to be in F1. That’s great too and he should get that opportunity if it’s offered to him. Period.”
Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Honda
Photo by: Jake Galstad/Motorsport Images
“Motorsport remains the highest profile sport in the world where money can outweigh talent.
“What is disappointing and, in my opinion, the fundamental problem, is that the sporting element so often took a backseat to the business side that there had to be a method for certain teams to stop choosing drivers based solely on your financial backing.
“Ultimately, these past decisions, whether out of greed or necessity, is what cost Colton the opportunity to make the decision for himself as to whether he wanted to change his career path and compete in F1. Not points in a race. license”.