With the commercial success of the Netflix series 'Drive to Survive' and the addition of a second US race for 2022 in Miami, the final piece in F1's American jigsaw would be a driver from one of the 50 states. Who could fill the void?
The obvious candidate is Herta. Fifth in the 2021 IndyCar standings with three wins to his name and a victory in just his third start at the Circuit of the Americas in 2019, the potential superstardom the 21-year-old possesses is unquestionable.
He is the driver touted by many American motorsport legends to make the step, but his long-term contract signed to Andretti Autosport in IndyCar initially seemed to put a halt to any F1 aspirations.
The potential takeover of Sauber by his team owner, however, is potentially the way into the sport he needs, superlicence points depending.
Logan Sargeant may be the most exciting prospect currently on the more traditional European open-wheel ladder.
The 20-year-old finished seventh in F3 this season with a win for Charouz in the final round in Russia after enduring a frustrating start to the year.
Sargeant, who finished third in 2020 after challenging and leading the way for much of the year, has the potential to be a competitive driver, yet lacks the funding to progress to F2.
A remarkable story that has a real chance of finding a happy ending. When Juan Manuel Correa joined F2 in 2019, he was one of the youngest on the grid, driving for the Sauber Junior Team.
A solid couple of years in the championship may have put him in the running for the second Alfa Romeo seat this year, yet the American-Ecuadorian suffered horrific injuries in the crash that cost Anthoine Hubert his life at Spa two years ago.
Despite being in a coma, numerous reconstructive surgeries and hours upon hours of rehab, Correa is back racing and in F3. The points were not easy to come by but next season could yield results.
With Correa back with the Sauber Academy and F2 on his horizon, the F1 dream is still within reach.
Yet another driver that is helped by a junior academy is Crawford. The 16-year-old secured a podium at Spa in F3 this season whilst he also sits third in the standings with four wins in EuroFormula Open so far.
Of all the academies to be a part of, Crawford is in the one that has had the most success over the years in promoting talent in Red Bull. As long as results continue to improve, a step to F2 should be on the horizon.
Dr Helmut Marko has shown before that strong form will be rewarded with a jump to F1. Will Crawford find a space in the near future? He has plenty of time to hone his craft.
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