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Andretti backs Marco for USF1 seat

American open-wheel legend Mario Andretti has revealed that he feels grandson Marco would be an ideal choice for the new USF1 team as it begins to piece together its planned programme for the 2010 Formula One season.

The official announcement of the programme finally came yesterday [Tuesday], with team bosses Peter Windsor and Ken Anderson revealing details of their plans in an announcement screened live on American motor sport TV channel SPEED.

One obvious point of discussion was on drivers, with Windsor adding a series of younger drivers like Alexander Rossi, Conor Daly and Josef Newgarden to a list of names already linked to the programme since news first surfaced that an American-based F1 outfit could be on the horizon.

Amongst the more established American names, IndyCar aces Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti have also been mentioned as possible contenders for a race seat, with the latter having already had a brief chance to sample F1 machinery from a test carried out with Honda.

Should Andretti secure a slot with the new team, he would become the third generation Andretti to compete in F1 after 1978 title winner Mario and father Michael, who endured a difficult season with McLaren in 1993, and 'elder statesman' Mario admitted his grandson would be well suited to the series.

“I would just love that,” he said when asked what it would mean to see Marco in Formula One. “It would rejuvenate me in many ways.

“My ultimate love is, and always will be, Formula One. In fact, I know Marco has not expressed himself probably enough. He just wants results to speak for themselves at first and go from there. But every time that I mention the possibility, he says, 'I'd give anything to have the opportunity.'

“I've said this before and I'll say it again and I'll back it up, if I were to design a Formula One driver today, I would design Marco. He learns quickly. He's very much of a free spirit … the travel and all of the aspect does not phase him in the least. He's certainly wants to do it and excel in it.

“We'll see what the future brings for him. Right now, he has to get some results where he is with his dad in the IndyCars and we'll see where that takes him.”



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Banditfan

February 25, 2009 5:16 PM

Richard, I think Michael was a good enough driver to succeed in F1, I just don't think he had the right attitude. He spent way too much time flying back and forth to the US and not enough time in and around the car. If any American driver is to succeed in F1 that's the first thing they have to recognize. Relocate to the centre of the action and totally commit yourself to the job. Michael Andretti didn't.

rich ard

February 25, 2009 11:05 AM

mario would say that, wouldn't he? he will naturally push for his grandson, just as he did for michael, who failed miserably. but it really is a little early for consideration to be given to any driver. i doubt that any driver would be prepared to commit to a team which exists only on paper, and even if it does produce a car, it might be slower than a honda. that would destroy any drivers reputation and consign him/her to the scrapheap! so windsor, show us a car and then look for drivers.



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