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Mario Andretti, an icon of motorsport, achieved greatness in Formula One, the Daytona 500, and the Indy 500 during the 1960s and 1970s. Alongside his son Michael, they established Andretti Autosport, excelling in IndyCar, Formula E, IMSA, and V8 Supercars. However, the sport’s reluctance thwarted their ambitions to enter Formula 1.

In a recent discussion, F1 journalist and former Ferrari manager Peter Windsor highlighted the unfair treatment endured by the Andretti family. Their exclusion from F1 exposes a stark disparity between their illustrious achievements and the sport’s closed gates. Despite this setback, the Andrettis’ legacy endures, symbolizing skill, determination, and resilience in adversity.

Peter Windsor reveals how F1 treated Mario Andretti and his family

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During a live YouTube chat with Peter Windsor, a question arose on whether current F1 circuits are similar to the challenges faced by Mario Andretti’s pole lap at Watkins Glenn in 1978. Here was the question “The Glenn 78 & Mario quali lap are these similar bits of WGlenn in any of the current circuits? Saw a photo of you & Carlos drinking Pepsi after his win… Andretti (& ColtonHerta) should be in F1”

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Windsor revealed, “We shouldn’t forget Mario getting the pole for that 68 US Grand Prix at the Glenn as well. I am saying all this in the context of the way how badly Formula 1 has treated Mario Andretti the Andretti family name. Anyway not allowing Michael to put the team together to come in Formula 1 wise and equally the way that was presented by the FIA and I keep saying the FIA because the press statement came out from the FIA no doubt about that.”

He reminisces about Mario Andretti’s remarkable pole position at Watkins Glenn in 1978. Though some viewed it as a local advantage, Andretti’s success stemmed from his keen grasp of tire dynamics and unparalleled track adaptability. Peter recalls an incident, he said, “He tried to qualify to race in the Italian Grand Prix in 68 Mario that is that is as had bobby an was driving and Mario was in the low and but to do that he had to run on the first-day practice which was accounted for official grid times and fly back to Indianapolis to do an oval dirt race which was around US championship that he was trying to win that year and fly back and do the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday and although they’d been given permission to do that and it all been okayed when it actually came down to it the FIA.”

Peter Windsor highlighted Mario Andretti’s limited opportunities in Formula 1 despite his prowess in other racing. After a break, Andretti returned in 1982 with Team Williams FW7, followed by a remarkable stint with Ferrari. At the 1982 Italian Grand Prix, Andretti clinched pole position, marking a triumphant return to the pinnacle of motorsport after enduring years of underrepresentation. Time and again in 2024, Mario Andretti’s dream of joining the F1 for 2025/26 has been crushed by sports owners FOM (Formula One Management).

The FIA’s role in Andretti’s bid for entry into F1

After finally receiving approval from the FIA, it seemed like a monumental breakthrough for Andretti in their tireless pursuit. However, FOM dealt a devastating blow by denying entry in the upcoming seasons. Yet, a glimmer of hope remains for 2028. However, the FIA is dissatisfied with FOM’s explanations and has initiated an investigation into the matter, signaling a potential shift in Andretti’s quest to compete in F1.

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The FIA stated, “The FIA notes the announcement from Formula One Management in relation to the FIA Formula One World Championship teams’ Expressions of Interest process. We are engaging in dialogue to determine the next steps.” The FIA’s decision on Andretti’s F1 entry is pending. The governing body’s ability to address these concerns will determine clarity and transparency.

Read More:  F1 News: Andretti to Pay $200 Million to F1 Following FIA’s “Rigorous” Questioning, but Only if They Get Accepted

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What are your thoughts on Andretti joining Formula 1? Do you believe they will give entry by 2026? share your thoughts in the comments

 

Written by

Ashwini Bochkeri

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Ashwini Bochkeri is a Formula 1 writer at EssentiallySports. After acquiring her MBA, she steered into the realm of journalism. With 2 years of content writing experience at Net Profit Reality and having crafted 500-plus articles, social media posts & creatives she transitioned into her current role as an F1 writer.
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Edited by

Akash Pandhare