“as a team owner, Michael
andretti has embraced
diversity like his father
Mario did as a driver”
It’s 10 years since Andretti Autosport (née Andretti Green
Racing) scored its first Indy 500 win. While Michael Andretti
famously never won it as a driver, Dan Wheldon (ABOVE), Dario
Franchitti and Ryan Hunter-Reay have brought him the milk.
Head to You Tube,
type in “Automotive
Doodle by Paul
Laguette,” and you
will get to see our
in action. And turn to
page 34 for his latest
ose-tinted spectacles regularly emerge
when racing folk get together to remember
the good times, and sooner or later, the
topic of driver versatility will come up.
“Whatever happened to that breed of driver
who could get in any car and go quick?”
they’ll wonder, before citing names like
Parnelli, Clark, Foyt, Gurney, Moss…and, of
course, Mr. Versatile himself, Mario Andretti.
Mario’s son, Michael, could never hope
to emulate such a diverse career path,
being a racer of the ’80s, ’90s and early
21st century, but having become one of
the legends of Indy car racing, he then did
something his father never considered; he
became a team owner. And in this aspect
of his life, Michael Andretti has embraced
diversity just like his father did as a driver.
Andretti Autosport runs/has run cars in
IndyCar, Indy Lights, Pro Mazda, USF2000,
Formula E and Global Rallycross, and has
been a winner in almost all. As this issue of
RACER went to press, an Andretti driver is
yet to stand on the top step of a Formula E
podium, but that day is surely coming.
Certainly it will arrive sooner than Mario will
fill that annoying Le Mans-sized gap in his
list of triumphs. (Yes, that still bugs us, too!)
So is Andretti Autosport a great team?
It’s one of the best in the world today.
While he may not have owned a team,
Mario was a cornerstone for the foundation
of an Indy car icon ≠– Newman/Haas Racing.
But if you want a lesson in how even the
best teams can struggle at first, don’t miss
our NHR story…nor our John Force Racing
feature, which proves that becoming the
team to beat is never achieved easily.
If a team’s greatness is defined by its
longevity at the top, you might not think of
Tyrrell Racing (ABOVE) when discussing
Formula 1’s best teams, but that would be
a mistake. Ken Tyrrell’s squad spent six of
the seven seasons 1968-’ 74 in genuine
contention for World Championship titles,
which is an impressive achievement at the
top (and therefore most expensive) level
of the sport. Just ask Red Bull Racing.
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