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Marco is set to become the third Andretti to get behind the wheel of an F1 car as he heads to the Jerez test track on Friday. The son of former McLaren driver Michael Andretti and grandson of the legendary F1 champ Mario Andretti, Marco has become a rising star in motorsports, named IRL rookie of the year.

Marco will test for Honda, whose engines power the Indy car he races. But that doesn't mean he'll be making the jump to F1 quite so quickly. He's contracted to Andretti Green Racing for the next two seasons, though somehow we can't imagine his dad holding him to it if Marco had a shot at moving up to the big leagues. But at 19, the youngest race winner in IRL history (short as it is), Marco's got plenty of time to dominate in Indy cars before switching to F1.

Still, just the idea of a third-generation Andretti coming anywhere near Formula One is an exciting notion. With Scott Speed just barely getting by in a back-marker team, F1 struggling to thrive with the US audience, and Honda competing with Toyota for the mantle of "most American" of Japanese carmakers, an exciting American driver behind the wheel of a Honda F1 car could be just what the doctor ordered.

[Source: GrandPrix.com]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Good luck to Marco, the kid has talent. Unfortunately this is the typical ONE day "reward" Honda gives a selected IRL driver each year and NOT the full blown 3 days you need just to learn an F1 car. Still I hope he enjoys it and I hope it makes him serious about a future in F1. Again, unfortunately, the IRL is NOT a good pathway to F1 (none have made it this way). And in 2007 the IRL will ONLY have 5 street/road races. Not enough to develop an OW skill base on non Ovals and not enough to ensure the next serious test WILL show is talent best IMHO.

      Note Graham Rahal. Despite his Dad also running an IRL team this guy has chosen to drive in Champcar in 2007. All their races will be on street/ovals so he WILL get the experience needed for perhaps a test in F1 in a years time and maybe a route thru GP2, or even straight to F1 if he looks really good. He and Marco are amazingly talented both.

      Another notable will stay in GA next year. Colin Braun. IRL weekend age rules cost him a driver Championship in GA in 2006. This young guy has HUGE talent IMHO. I would love to see him in OW but I fear he is Nascar headed:(

      In other matters: Seb Bourdais has a REAL 3 day test for TR this week. That should be fun. Not the best team, by any means, but I am thinking this is a mini test, NOT for TR, but for RB (relacing DC?) in 2008.

      Oh and Michael Andretti. Not my fav guy, because of the way he has mouthed off too often. BUT, in F1 yes he jetted in and out, just as most F1 drivers do today. BUT it wasn't his lack of effort that was the problem. Uncle Ron Dennis had hired MA and a certain Mika Hakkinnen for 1993 when Senna (multiple WDC) decided he WOULD race for McLaren. That left RD with 3 race drivers he was committed to paying. RD considered MH his future so he gave 90+% of ALL testing time to MH and not the guy completely new to F1 cars and circuits, MA. Thus MA had to learn from skimpy test miles and actual race drives. Senna even respected MA's ability to get up to speed. But with about 5 races left in the season MA got a nice Podium and RD said thanks, but go away, MH is now driving. IMHO Michael was driving on ALL circuits he had never seen b4 and w/o proper testing time given to him. Thus he did a decent job getting up to speed by racing. He deserved a full season and a second year in F1 to show his real talent. This shoddy treatment LOST F1 another terrific American. AL Unser Jr. Who at the time was crazy fast and at his peak. With MA pushed aside the door also closed on any chance Jr had of a ride. That guy won at Long Beach and incredible 7 times. Forget the fact that he lost his way towards the end of his career, in the period 1990-1995 Jr was superb.

      p.s. I come from the UK in case some think otherwise.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think Michael tailed me in his BMW a few years ago through the mountains of PA for twenty or so miles, with his pretty hot looking wife in the passenger seat. I think he coulda passed me if he wanted, I was driving a worn out oil leaking toyota corolla.

      Good luck to Marco, I might actually start watching F1 if he gets a seat.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Ian nailed it above, as to why Michael "failed" (though, a podium in your first season, especially with the drivers in the series at that point in time, is hardly a failure)... The rules pretty much prevented a lot of "getting to know you" time for any of these tracks, as well, with RD exacerbating it with his MH bias.

      Michael DID have a horrible time keeping his ride on the track before his belated breakout podium but, frankly, without time in a race situation in ANY series on these tracks (not to mention against any of these drivers), it shouldn't have surprised anybody. If anything, racing (open-wheel, especially) is a ballet of drivers trusting each other, knowing what the other will do, and NOT a "trading paint" exercise like NAStyCar.

      Michael had the attitude (which most pointed out as negative) that you have to have when you're trying to take a 220+ mph IndyCar/F1 car to the lead. He was not warm & fuzzy but that doesn't win races. Ask Tony (I'm more than half the man I used to be) Stewart or Michael Schumacher...
      • 8 Years Ago
      I stated it on this forum before...it was just going to be a matter of time before this kid gets into F1. It is not a coincidence that he will be testing and driving for Honda F1 in the near future. He’s got pedigree…and unlike Eli Manning, this kid has fire in his eyes.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Dirk you're a dick.

      Much as I'd like to say Go Marco, the truth is I don't really know crap about the kid. The only IRL race I ever take the time to watch is the Indy 500.

      Back to to you dirkbag, Michael's failure in F1 was not because of a lack of talent, it was because of a lack of effort. Michael F1 effort was half-assed. When he arrived in F1, he was already a very wealthy man. Unlike most F1 entrants who are hungry. He did not spend nearly enough time with the team sorting the car out or even practicing. Michael had his private jet and lots of business committments stateside. Spent his time shuttling back and fort between the races and the states.

      Later Dork!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Mario is not going to suck in F1 like Michael did. Michael just straight up did not care about F1. If he had committed himself to the team he could have gone a long way.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm sure he'll suck it up in F1 just like his no-talent crybaby daddy
      • 8 Years Ago
      I would argue that Marco DOESN'T have plenty of time to dominate anywhere before moving to F1. Whether prejudicial or not, F1 teams want their drivers younger and younger all the time. And it has paid off - consider 2x champ Alonso and Schuey heir Raikkonen @ $52 mil/wk as milestones in that regard. And if you haven't made your mark by your late 20's, you're too late. Who knows if it's a real test or a BS "favor" by the squad, but the results could be enough to make or break his chances even now.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Did Mario's brother Aldo (?) drive an F1 car once or twice?

      • 8 Years Ago
      I think it's time to have someone moderating the comments... and I speak against myself!