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Palou calls for FIA to 'make it easier' for IndyCar drivers to enter F1

After Colton Herta missed out on securing enough super licence points to potentially enter Formula 1, fellow IndyCar driver Alex Palou believes that the category should be given more importance.

Alex Palou TPC2
To news overview © McLaren

Alex Palou has called for the FIA to "make it easier" for IndyCar drivers to enter F1.

It comes after Colton Herta – the youngest driver to ever win an IndyCar race - was heavily linked with an AlphaTauri seat for 2023, but his hopes were scuppered as he did not have the required super licence points needed to compete in Formula 1.

Palou, meanwhile, took part in Free Practice 1 for McLaren at the 2022 United States Grand Prix, and has since been named as one of the team's reserve driver for 2023.

The Spaniard has collected enough super licence points himself, having won the IndyCar championship in 2021, but believes that the process needs to be improved for others from the category who hope to break into F1.

Palou: IndyCar should be given more importance

"First of all, I have my super license, so I don't care what's going on! It's easy for me to say," Palou joked to the F1 Nation podcast.

"But, to be honest, I think IndyCar is such a tough competition. I invite everybody to follow closely IndyCar and IndyCar drivers and how close the racing is, to see if we deserve more points or not.

"It's a professional series, it's not a junior series. I'm not saying that we should have priority over other series, but maybe we should get a little bit more importance."

Herta could be 'really good F1 driver', says Palou

In terms of Herta's situation, Palou thinks that the American driver has what it takes to compete in F1.

"Colton Herta won four or five races in IndyCar, so it's not like he won one by luck, strategy or whatever," Palou explained.

"He won because he's fast. I think he could be a really good F1 driver, and there [were] several teams in F1 that were willing to give him a chance, and he's not in the F1 paddock now as a driver because of the points.

"I don't think they should have [broken] the rules [to give Herta a super licence], but maybe they should have changed it for the future a little bit and make it easier for good IndyCar drivers to come to F1, but we'll see."

Herta has since been linked with joining the Andretti Autosport outfit, should the team prove successful in their efforts to join the F1 grid in 2026.

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