Can Mario Andretti Conquer F1… Again?


In paddock at the Miami Grand Prix, the stars of Formula 1 and the stars of American life who recently caught the Formula 1 error overtake each other at close range and at great speed. It was British seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton on his Mercedes scooter. There was Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda, taller than a third grader but still sipping from a juice box. Teams in red go in this direction, teams in white go in that direction, looking like the lights on a highway.

Privileged patrons — among them Michelle Obama and LeBron James, Venus and Serena Williams, Michael Douglas and George Lucas, all Americans, some old fans, others new to the sport — scream in the growing traffic and marvel that the great F1 circus has appeared in not only any part of America, but also this America, for the Miami Grand Prix for the first time, as well as interest has peaked for a burgeoning American racing fan.

If you look past them all, past Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen, beyond Bad Bunny and Pharrell, past the tall fences of the team’s hotel suites, around the fake palm leaves, and right next to the Ferrari mechanics working sipping espressos in 93- degrees of swamp heat, you’ll find a small, olive-skinned man sitting in the middle of it all, an American who, it turns out, has been around these F1 divisions for decades century, but is now working longer return.

Mario Andretti, the greatest American racing driver of all time — winner of the Indy 500, Daytona 500, Indy Car Season Championship and countless other speed-related competitions of the 20th century — also stands out as the last. with the Americans to win the Formula 1 world championship. In other words, to be the last American to win the top prize in the top lap on earth. This is 1978. In fact, it’s prehistoric. At least for most of Miami’s 240,000 super-tanker fans, many of them were drawn to F1 via Netflix Drive to survive and get used to the fact that the F1 cast is practically devoid of Americans. But in that 1978 season, Andretti fought the greats of his time — with Fittipaldi and Villeneuve, with Hunt and Lauda — and won them all. An American, then, not only In sport, not just on the grid, but in a season, its Verstappen, its Hamilton, its Senna and its Prost.

Mario is in Miami serving as the great link between American racing and Formula 1 driving. Indeed, he is the official Grand Prix ambassador and the most meaningful bridge between fans. American racing and racing series spanning the globe. But he’s also there with a more secretive ability to help make sure he’s not Final so is the demand. In February, Mario shocked the racing world when he announced that his eldest son, Michael, had filed paperwork with the sport’s governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). , to bring a brand new American racing team and American drivers to the F1 paddock in 2024. “His entry, Andretti Global, has the resources and checks every box,” Mario tweeted. “He is waiting for the determination of the FIA.” Arriving in Miami, in May, Michael and Mario are still waiting. But the convergence of all the F1 power brokers on their home soil is an opportunity for them to make their case firsthand. The pitch is simple: A new American team with an American star racer (all under the banner of the great American racing name) will act as bellows to fan the flames of the fan base. America’s new frenzy, aka the market that F1 used to be. try to disrupt its whole existence. Can Mario Andretti Conquer F1… Again?

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