Herbert began his motorsport career in 1983 in Formula Ford, where he decided in 1985, the traditional Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch for themselves. In 1987 he won the British Formula 3 Championship, 1988, he competed in Formula 3000. There he broke off in a serious accident at Brands Hatch feet several times and could not go to the end of the championship. For 1989, he had signed a contract with Formula 1 Benetton before the accident.
Despite the difficult recovery Herbert In 1989, in Rio de Janeiro on his debut in Formula 1 and finished fourth. Due to his injuries, but Herbert was not able to brake hard enough, so his performance fell back on some tracks. He was replaced after the sixth race of the season at Benetton by the Italian Emanuele Pirro.
1990 Herbert had to return to the Formula 3000 for a year because he had not yet fully recovered from the serious accident at Brands Hatch in 1988. In 1991, he replaced first for some races Julian Bailey at Lotus, but has been replaced in the meantime against the German Michael Bartels. As this, however, failed to qualify for a single race, Herbert returned to the team and was engaged as a regular driver from the English tradition team from 1992 to 1994 alongside Mika Häkkinen. In the meantime, Herbert also took the 24-hour race at Le Mans win in part ( 1991 Mazda) and could this together with the Belgian Bertrand Gachot and German Volker Weidler.
Herbert took in Formula 1 part in 161 races, of which he won three. In 1995, he was with Benetton -Renault after victories at Silverstone and Monza WM- fourth. His third victory drove Herbert in 1999 for the Stewart team at the chaos race on the Nürburgring. At season's end 2000, the Briton his active Formula 1 career ended temporarily, but returned again back in 2001 as a test driver for Arrows.
During the 2005 season, he was obliged by the team Jordan as team manager with a focus on public relations. He held this position Herbert even after the sale of the team and renamed Midland F1 and Spyker F1. After the but -time sale to the Indian investor Vijay Mallya Herbert's contract was not renewed.
In 2007 he was involved in the founding of a new racing series in the Middle East, the Speedcar Series, and also participated in the first season of the Speedcar Series season 2007/ 08, as the driver part. 2009 Herbert started in the British Touring Car series BTCC. In 2010 he raced in the Italian Superstars Series. He participated in the 2011 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in 2011 with a VW Golf24.