Mario Andretti, the 1978 F1 World Champion and four-time IndyCar title winner, will be making several guest appearances with F1 Experiences at the upcoming 2019 United States Grand Prix.
Mario Andretti Biography
Born in Italy during the second World War, Mario Andretti developed a love of motorsports from a young age. After emigrating to the United States with his family at the age of 15, he was soon using funds earned working in his uncle’s garage to go dirt racing with his twin brother Aldo. Despite achieving early success in stock cars, Andretti never gave up on his dream of racing open-wheelers. He climbed the open-wheel ladder via wins in midget and sprint cars en route to his Indy Car debut in 1964. Andretti won the first of his four Indy Car National Championships the following year and capped off a hugely successful decade with victory in the 1969 Indianapolis 500.
After meeting Lotus boss Colin Chapman at the 1965 Indy 500, Andretti began seriously considering a switch to Formula 1. Three years later, Chapman helped Andretti get on the grid for his Formula 1 debut at the 1968 United States Grand Prix. The Italian/American showed impressive speed to put his Lotus 49 on pole at Watkins Glen, but retired from the race with clutch failure. Andretti dabbled in Formula 1 for the next four seasons while keeping up his racing commitments in the USA. He achieved his first F1 win for Ferrari in the 1971 South African Grand Prix.
Andretti finally committed to a full season of Formula 1 in 1975, racing for the US-based Parnelli team. He scored five points during the season and led the Spanish Grand Prix after qualifying fourth, but moved across to Lotus when Parnelli pulled out of Formula 1 early the next year. With his exceptional ability to develop and improve racing cars, Andretti quickly helped Lotus move up the grid throughout 1976. In his first three seasons with the famous British marque, Andretti won ten races – including the 1977 United States Grand Prix West on home soil – and was crowned 1978 Formula 1 World Champion. Andretti remained a full-time Formula 1 driver until 1981 before returning to his successful Indy Car career in the USA, where he continued racing until 1994, aged 54!
Other highlights of Andretti’s legendary motorsport career included winning the Daytona 500, three victories in the 12 Hours of Sebring, a class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and victory in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. Since retiring from motorsport, Andretti has overseen the careers of his two sons, Michael and Jeff, and grandson Marco, who have achieved success in stateside racing. His son Michael Andretti has also founded a successful team that competes in Indy Car, Indy Lights, Formula E and Rallycross.
How to meet Mario Andretti at the 2019 United States Grand Prix?
- On Friday, Mario Andretti will be our very special guest for Lunch with a Legend, where he will engage in a Q&A about his career as our guests enjoy a gourmet lunch and premium open bar. To be there, get your Driver Ticket Package.
- On Saturday, Andretti will also be making a special guest appearance in the Champions Club for a Q&A. Get your Champions Club or Champions Club Suite Ticket Package for access.
- Mario Andretti will also be making a special race-day appearance in our Paddock Club suite. Get your Paddock Club or Legend Ticket Package for the chance to meet the 1978 Formula 1 World Champion.
Get an Official Ticket Package to the 2019 United States Grand Prix for your chance to meet the legendary Mario Andretti. Choose from select grandstands or VIP hospitality in the Champions Club and Formula 1 Paddock Club. All packages include unique benefits that will get you closer to Formula 1 than ever before, including guided tours of the track, pit lane walks, access to the F1 Paddock and more.