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Andretti: Texas can be fixed home of US GP

Mario Andretti expects the new home of the US GP to not only survive but also to 'thrive' in future years

Mario Andretti is confident the inaugural US Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas will be a success.

F1 will return to the United States of America for the first time in five years this weekend and the purpose-built facility at Austin, Texas has already been hailed. Indeed Andretti believes the event will thrive in future years, although given he is an official ambassador for the CotA, that isn't really surprising.

“Look, we tried Long Beach, Detroit, Dallas, Phoenix, Indianapolis... it looked like Watkins Glen would be our real home and we were there for 19 years. It was extremely successful but we did not reinvest and reconstruct, which was a big mistake,” Andretti told British newspaper, The Observer.

“When I saw this place [the CotA] in June I had my doubts about this ever going ahead [too],” added the 1978 F1 world champion.

“But I've been amazed at the work that has taken place since. There were big difficulties, because the whole project fell into different hands. But there was a passion and a resolve to perform miracles and make it work.

“And now this can be the fixed home of the US Grand Prix. And I think that fact will see the event not only surviving but thriving in the future.

“It's a great host city and I think the track, borrowing a bit from Silverstone here, a little of Hockenheim there, will go down great with the drivers.”

Meanwhile, Andretti is also enthusiastic about plans for a second US GP in New Jersey, even if that event has been postponed until 2014.

“Can you imagine New York as the backdrop? It could be fantastic. But right now Austin is all we're thinking about...” concluded the American racing legend, who has amassed over 100 wins in major series such as F1, IndyCar, NASCAR and sportscars.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mario Andretti is strapped in before venturing out on his first flying laps of the new Circuit of the Americas in Austin
Mario Andretti cuts the ribbon to officially launch the Circuit of the Americas
Ambassador Mario Andretti at Circuit of the Americas   [pic credi: Circuit of the Americas]
10.06.2012- Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of Formula One Management  and Mario Andretti (USA)
10.06.2012- Mario Andretti

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November 12, 2012 9:31 PM
Last Edited 740 days ago

@carman What a ridiculous and shameful post. It has nothing to do with the article, just hating on a legend for no reason. Mario was 53 years old at the time that Nigel 'blew this man into the weeds'. Nigel was much younger and the current F1 world champion. The fact that a 53 year old was even will or able to compete with him is a testament to Mario's skills and passion. At 53 years old Mario was racing 20 somethings and F1 WDC's at 240 + mph and holding his own. What will you be doing at that age???

Focus - Unregistered

November 12, 2012 10:38 PM

Bunch of trolls. Your "wisdom" has nothing to do with the fact that the CotA folks have done what most, including many of the geniuses here on Crash, said was impossible. They've built a world-class facility in record time, despite all the efforts to derail the project. I drove by there in June, when most if not all of the track was still dirt, and to compare those images with what appeared on Speed Channel's half-hour special last night is simply astonishing. CotA really doesn't need Mario as an ambassador--the city is fantastic, the weather will be perfect, and the track looks to be a good one with over 130 feet of elevation change and a lot of interesting corners. I've got my tickets ready and can't wait for Friday.

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