IndyCar star Colton Herta pulls off incredible save – then overtakes leader

IndyCar star Colton Herta pulled off one of the greatest saves ever seen during the GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis – and went on to win the most chaotic race in recent memory.

The race was held in unpredictable weather conditions. Before drying up, it began in wet weather, allowing drivers to fit the dry tyres. However, patches of rain appeared throughout the race’s closing stages, meaning it was almost guesswork as to which was the correct tyre.

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After qualifying in 14th, Herta profited from a series of early incidents to run in second on lap five. He was battling Pato O’Ward for the race lead.

However, with rain still falling on the track, the American lost control of his Andretti Autosport car heading into a fast left-hander. The car’s wheels span around, and the 22-year-old looked to be going straight into the grass.

However, Herta applied full lock, rode out the slide, and somehow managed to get the car facing in the right direction again. He then used the opposite full lock and carried on his race, without losing time.

It was one of the most incredible saves you will ever see. To make things even better, with the conditions still treacherous, Herta overtook O’Ward for the race’s lead a matter of corners later.

Herta keeps his cool in tricky conditions

Colton Herta went on to secure his first IndyCar win of the season.

With just over 25 laps to go, and with the whole field on dry tyres, rain began to fall again. As the race was under caution, most lead cars elected to stay on slicks. Some drivers, such as ex-F1 driver Alexander Rossi, chose to pit for wet tyres. Unfortunately for him, the track dried up, and the gamble didn’t work.

With conditions ever-changing, however, the rain quickly returned. Led by Herta, the field pitted for another set of dry tyres before realising their mistake and returning for wets.

By this point, only 10 minutes remained in the race. Herta led from the green flag to the finish on wet tyres, ahead of Simon Pagenaud and Will Power.

They were treacherous conditions – and those who stayed on dry tyres, such as former Haas driver Romain Grosjean, ultimately paid the price.

Could Colton Herta get an F1 seat?

Colton Herta has been linked with moving into F1 in recent seasons.

It was reported that the American would be a leading contender to join Alfa Romeo if Michael Andretti – Herta’s team owner in IndyCar – successfully took over the team ahead of 2022. He was reportedly quicker than Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi, who drove for Alfa last year, in simulator tests.

At the RACER/EPARTRADE Online Race Industry Week, Andretti stated he was “48 hours” away from finalising a deal with the team. However, talks broke down, and Alfa opted for Zhou Guanyu to partner with Valtteri Bottas instead.

In 2022, reports linking Herta to F1 have ramped up. McLaren have signed the IndyCar star to a development role. He will test their 2021 car this season.

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Herta was present with the team at the recent Miami Grand Prix, shadowing their operations and main drivers, Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo.

Speaking about Herta’s future prospects in a recent interview, McLaren boss Zak Brown explained (quotes via The Sports Rush): “Yes, we’ve now got a plan installed for Colton.

“That’s up to Andreas Seidl [team principal] to communicate that outwardly when he’s ready to communicate it. But yes, we have a plan.”

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Herta could, however, be joined in competition for the McLaren seat by IndyCar rival Pato O’Ward. The Mexican, who drives for McLaren’s IndyCar team, has agreed on initial terms on a new deal with the team until 2025, and tested their F1 car in December.

Featured Image Credit: INDYCAR