Herta staying put: American signs extension with Andretti

INDIANAPOLIS — Colton Herta is not going to drive in Formula One or for Roger Penske or Chip Ganassi or anywhere but Andretti Autosport for now.

Andretti announced a two-year contract extension with the young American driver Friday that begins with the 2022 season. Gainbridge, the sponsor that shifted its funding this season to be paired with Herta within the Andretti camp, also extended its deal with the organization.

“Colton has already shown so much potential in the short time he’s been in the series and having a great partner like Gainbridge recognize and support that potential is great for everyone,” team owner Michael Andretti said. “If the start to the 2021 season is any indication of the future success for the program, I think we have a lot to look forward to over the next few years.”

Herta in 2019 became the youngest winner in IndyCar Series history when he won in his third career start just shy of his 19th birthday. Now in his third season, he is a championship contender and led all but three laps in a dominating victory on the street course at St. Petersburg last month.

The 21-year-old has been mentioned as possible American hope for Formula One, a series dominated by European drivers. Herta spent time in Europe as a teenager hoping to move through the ranks but moved back to the United States in 2017 and has been in the IndyCar ladder system since.

He transitioned this year into the Andretti team to drive the No. 26 Honda.

“I’m incredibly happy to be back with Andretti Autosport for the next two years. I’ve grown so much with this team, so it was a no-brainer when I got the chance to re-sign with Michael,” said Herta.

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