American driver Colton Herta on verge of F1 race seat with Red Bull junior team AlphaTauri

American driver Colton Herta is on the verge of joining Formula One with Red Bull junior team AlphaTauri in 2023, pending a decision on his FIA super-licence.

Herta, 22, who currently races in IndyCar, tested F1 machinery this year with McLaren and has been linked with a seat at AlphaTauri if Pierre Gasly leaves the team for Alpine as Fernando Alonso's replacement.

The Californian does not currently have the 40 super-licence points required to drive in F1 from his race results in other series.

The FIA, motor racing's governing body, has been looking into making exceptions for Herta around points scored during COVID-reduced seasons given how close he is to the necessary mark.

Helmut Marko, the head of Red Bull's famous driver programme, is confident an exception will be made for Herta.

"We looked at the regulations, we discussed it with the FIA, and because of COVID there's a special regulation that you can take three years [from four] and also if one result isn't maximum points and outside the driver's [hands] they can give the points," Marko told SpeedCity Broadcasting on SiriusXM.

"So it's nothing unreasonable. He won seven IndyCar races and that's comparable to a grand prix I think, so it would be a shame if he wouldn't get a super-licence."

When asked if Herta will race in F1 if he gets approval, Marko replied: "Astonishingly enough, all of the parties and teams involved, we found an agreement."

Marko added that he expected that super-licence decision to come next week at Monza ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.

The news would likely mean confirmation of Gasly's move to Alpine, too, with Marko adding: "If the deal works then it happens in Monza, also for Pierre of course."

A super-licence for Herta could prove to be controversial.

The system is set up to ensure drivers cannot enter F1 without enough good championship results in other systems.

F1 boss Stefano Domenicali said earlier this week the sport must be careful not to set a precedent for the sake of one driver.

"The sport needs to respect the rules," Domenicali told Autosport. "And, of course, American drivers or other drivers are very important. If he is eligible to come in F1 because he has the points, it's fantastic news.

"But there is a ladder to follow, there is a protocol to respect, and that is the situation. So it's really what I believe is right to do."