Michael Andretti, the son of F1 legend, Mario Andretti is more famous for having a successful CART career than he did in F1. Michael Andretti only raced in the 1993 F1 season for McLaren. In that season he partnered a certain Ayrton Senna, before going back to compete in the CART IndyCar World Series. Andretti currently owns the super successful Andretti Autosport team that competes in the IndyCar series. He reveals that before he could join McLaren in 1993, he had signed a contract with Ferrari in 1991.
Carl Haas prevented Michael Andretti from racing for Ferrari
Carl Haas was the co-owner of the Newman/Haas Racing team that competed in the CART series. It was the team that Andretti raced for and won a championship with, before his move to McLaren. Haas (no relation to Gene Haas) also owned the Haas Lola F1 team that only competed in two F1 Championships (1985 and 1986).
Andretti appeared on ‘The Marshall Pruett Podcast‘ recently. When asked to recall a memorable incident with Haas, Andretti said, “One funny story was – I think it was 1991 – I had just signed a contract with him for 1992. But there was a clause in there about Formula One. He (Haas) said that if I (Andretti) wanted to go to Formula One he would never stop me. “
“So in 1991, I happened to sign a contract – this is something that not too many people know – I signed a contract with Ferrari, to drive for them in 1992. So when I brought it back to Carl, he said: I’m not going to let you do it. I was really, really mad at him (for that).”
However, despite that disappointment, Andretti managed to win his first Championship in the CART series in 1991. He also fulfilled his wish to race in Formula One, when he signed for McLaren. Although that move didn’t quite work out for Andretti. He only managed three, point finishes and one podium in 13 races. He struggled for consistency and was replaced by Mika Hakkinen next season. Nevertheless, Andretti will always be remembered as a CART series legend.