The combination of Mario Andretti and Lotus proved unstoppable in 1978, when the Italo-American claimed the marque's last Formula One world championship, and could be resurrected if the ambitious grand prix newcomer of the same name has anything to do with it.

The 70-year old, in Bahrain for the 60th anniversary celebrations of the world championship, admitted that he had been approached about playing a part in the revival of the Lotus name in F1 - and conceded that he was tempted to explore the opportunity further.

"I have been asked to be part of that, and there might become a little bit more of an involvement on my part, because they seem to be very proud of the brand that obviously they are there representing," Andretti told Reuters in Sakhir, "We'll see [how it works out] - stay tuned."

Regardless of whether he does become involved, Andretti admitted that he had been impressed with the standards being shown by the new Lotus equipe.

"Mike Gascoyne has done a phenomenal job to bring it here - and this is for real," he noted, "They are for real. The commitment is also long-term, that's the other thing.

"In the first few races, they obviously won't be on the pace, but they have two very experienced drivers who can give good feedback and it's going to be an honest ongoing development. I think, by mid-season, you will probably see quite a surprising improvement there, where the team will be a force to be reckoned with, with some pride, before the season is over."


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