Mario Andretti

Country USA
Date of Birth 28-2-40
  Lotus Career
Debut 8-9-68
Last Race 6-10-80 25-9-82
Races 80 128
Wins 11 12
Podiums 16 19
Poles 17 18
Points 147 180

Other information...

Arguably one of the worlds greatest (and most versatile) drivers, he has won almost every series he has entered, with the exception of Le Mans 24 Hour (unlike Graham Hill), including four ChampCar/Indycar championships, the Indy 500, Daytona 500, Sebring 12 Hour and not forgetting the 1978 F1 World Championship.

"Super Wop" was already a highly successful driver in America before Colin Chapman invited him to race for Team Lotus. Fastest in testing for his first race at Monza in 1968, however was not allowed to start due to FISA regulations (and some protesting by Ferrari - some things never change!) as he had already raced in the US the day before. Qualified on pole in his first race (the first person ever to do so) at Watkins Glen some weeks later, but did not finish due to a clutch problem.

Combined racing in the US with sparodic F1 races for Lotus and March (the March 701 he now describes as 'shit') in which he was unsuccessful before joining Ferrari and winning his first race. After sitting out 1973 and most of 1974 returned to F1 with Vel's Parnelli Jones Racing (a ChampCar team) for another unsuccessful stint.

Rejoins Lotus in 1976 after Colin Chapman asks him to concentrate on F1. Brings Lotus back to winning ways by putting the Lotus 77 on pole and winning the final race of the season at Mount Fuji, and also significantly raises team morale. The 1977 season brings the "ground effect" Lotus 78, but the World Championship is denied by frequent failures.

The arrival of the Lotus 79 and the partnership of Ronnie Peterson (under team orders) allows Lotus to dominate the season and give Andretti the World Championship. Tragically on that day Peterson dies due to injuries sustained in a first lap crash at Monza. That proves to be the high point of his F1 career and the next two seasons he is heavilly out-raced by his team mates, and cars like the Lotus 80 don't help much either.

In 1981 he joins Alfa Romeo in which turns out to be yet another bad choice, and as a result retires from F1 at the end of the season. However he is lured out of retirement in 1982 to drive for Williams at Long Beach and then Ferrari at Monza (where he claims pole) and Caesar's Palace before retiring from F1 for good.

After finishing with F1 returns to ChampCar until 1994, which includes his last championship in 1984 and also partnering Nigel Mansell to his championship in 1993. However their relationship soured over time and Andretti retired at the end of the 1994 season. Upon retiring from ChampCar attempts several times to win Le Mans 24 Hour, but that is the one title that still eludes him.

In 2003 was unhurt after a crash whilst testing an Andretti-Green Racing Dallara-Honda with a view for qualifying it on behalf of Tony Kanaan for the Indy 500.

2006 eceives the Commendatore Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Italian knighthood) in recognition of his extensive racing career.

The Official Andretti Family Website