Mario Andretti: a life for speed
Mario Andretti is one of the greatest automobile drivers of all time. Born February 28, 1940, in Montona, Italy, Andretti grew up in the United States, where he moved with his family at the age of fourteen. Since then, his life has been devoted to speed and motor racing.
Andretti’s career began in 1959, when he began racing in small local competitions. In 1964, Andretti was noticed by American racing team owner Dean Van Lines, who hired him to drive his car in single-seater races. From then on, Andretti never stops.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Andretti dominated the American automotive scene, winning the USAC National Championship four times and scoring victories in major races such as the Indianapolis 500 in 69 and the 12 Hours of Sebring. In 1978, Andretti became the first American driver, and for the time being the only one, to win the Formula One World Championship, taking the title with Lotus.
But Andretti’s career goes on. During the 1980s, Andretti focused on endurance racing, participating in races such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 12 Hours of Daytona.
Today, Mario Andretti is an icon in the world of motorsports. But it is not only his skill as a pilot that makes him so respected. Above all, it is his passion for motorsports and his constant commitment to continuous improvement that has made him outstanding.
Andretti made his Formula 1 debut in 1968 with the Lotus team, and over the years he drove for several teams including Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and McLaren. He achieved a total of 12 wins, 18 pole positions and 86 podiums.
Winning the 1978 World Championship was undoubtedly the highlight of Andretti ‘s Formula 1 career. That year, Andretti won six races and scored nine pole positions, outpacing the other drivers and winning the title by a margin of 13 points over his nearest rival, Swedish driver Ronnie Peterson, his teammate who sadly died in the Italian GP at Monza.
Andretti’s Formula One World Championship victory was a great achievement, not only for him but also for Colin Chapman, the team’s owner, from whom the title had eluded him since 1973. Andretti was praised for his driving ability and determination, and his victory was seen as a triumph for all Americans who had dreamed of winning the Formula One World Championship and have not been able to do so since.
After the triumph
After winning the 1978 Formula 1 world championship, Andretti continued to race in this class for many years, earning more victories and podiums. His attention has also turned to other categories such as NASCAR and endurance racing.
Andretti, a surname that means auto racing
Andretti’s impact on the racing world is still strong, and his name remains a symbol of speed and success. His family is deeply involved in the world of auto racing. His sons, Michael and Jeff, were both winning drivers. Michael won the CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams) Championship in 1991, while Jeff competed in NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing).
Michael’s daughter, Marissa, began racing karts at the age of eight and today is the VP of the Andretti Autosport team in addition to being the Managing Director of Andretti Technologies.
And his grandson, Jarett, is following in the family’s footsteps, currently racing for Andretti Autosport in theIMSAchampionship in the LMP3 class.
Andretti Autosport, speed in the DNA
Andretti Autosport, is the racing team founded by Michael Andretti, son of Mario Andretti, in 2003. The team is based in Indianapolis, Indiana, and competes in many motor racing categories, including IndyCar, Formula E, Formula Americas, Superstar Racing Experience and Rallycross. The team has won numerous titles and races in these categories, cementing its reputation as one of the strongest and most competitive teams in the United States.
Andretti Autosport has also had considerable success in Formula Indy, the American racing series that was founded to be an alternative to Formula 1. The team won the Formula Indy Championship in 2004 Tony Kanaan, in 2005 with Dan Wheldon, in 2007 with Dario Franchitti and in 2012 with Ryan Hunter-Reay. In addition, the team has also won the famous Indianapolis 500 five times, in 2005 with Dan Wheldon,in 2007 with Franchitti in 2014 with Ryan Hunter-Reay in 2016 with Alexander Rossi and with Takuma Sato in 2017.
One of Andretti Autosport ‘s strengths is its ability to develop and train young talent. The team launched the careers of many drivers, including Danica Patrick, Marco Andretti (Michael’s son and Mario’s grandson), Carlos Munoz, Zach Veach and Colton Herta.
In summary, Andretti Autosport is one of the most important and respected teams in the United States, with a rich heritage and a long tradition of success. The team continues to be a major force in auto racing in America and around the world, and its name remains a symbol of excellence and commitment to motorsports. At the Moment Andretti Autosport is checking the feasibility of its entry into Formula1
Mario Andretti still holds numerous records in motorsport, despite the fact that it has been a long time since the end of his racing career. Here are some of the most important ones.
- Andretti was Formula One World Champion in 1978, an achievement that made him the first and only American-born driver to win this championship.
- Andretti was the first driver and one of only three, along with Dan Gurney and Juan Pablo Montoya, to win races in Formula One, IndyCar, World Sportscar Championship and NASCAR.
- Second most starts in Formula One for an American driver (behind Michael Andretti)
- Only driver to have won the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500 and a Formula One World Championship.
- Largest number of IndyCar victories on road courses (42 wins)
- Third most IndyCar wins of all time (after A.J. Foyt and Scott Dixon)
- The following is a non-exhaustive list of the successes that Mario Andretti achieved on the track:
- 1965 USAC National Champion
- 1966 USAC national stock car champion
- Winner of the Indianapolis 500 in 1969
- 1978 Formula One World Champion
- 1984 Daytona 500 winner
- Winner of the 12 Hours of Sebring (1967, 1970, 1972, 1973)
Formula One career:
- 128 starts, 12 wins, 18 pole positions, 32 podiums and 1095.5 points.
- First American to win a Formula One race (1971, South African Grand Prix).
- 407 starts, 52 wins, 32 pole positions and 6911 points
- IndyCar champion 1974, 1975 and 1987
- 1981 CART Champion
- 1967 Daytona 500 winner
- 4-time International Race of Champions (IROC) champion
- 3-time USAC Gold Crown champion
- National Dirt Track champion in 1972 and 1974
- Winner of the Race of Champions in 1977 and 1979
- Member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
Pictures, top to bottom:
- Mario Andretti – Lotus 80 enters Rascasse at the 1979 Monaco Grand Prix, Martin Lee, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0
- Mario Andretti – Lotus 79 at Druids at the 1978 British Grand Prix, Martin Lee, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0