McLaren Boss Shakes Hands with Mario Andretti over Unique F1 Bargain

Published 05/09/2022, 6:10 AM EDT
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO – MAY 23: McLaren Chief Executive Officer Zak Brown talks in the Team Principals Press Conference during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 23, 2019 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Mario Andretti might just be the new driver on F1 grid! McLaren CEO Zak Brown just promised him a ride in the 2022 chassis, and we know that he always keeps his promises.

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All this happened amidst the star-studded Miami GP. Though McLaren sadly did not have the best race as Lando Norris crashed out and Daniel Ricciardo finished pointless.

Formula One F1 – Miami Grand Prix – Miami International Autodrome, Miami, Florida, U.S. – May 7, 2022 Williams’ Nicholas Latifi, McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during qualifying REUTERS/Marco Bello

McLaren were on a roll since the Australian GP and were performing well until Miami. Further, both the drivers showing consistency has been rare, as they struggled for pace again in the American city.

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McLaren CEO Zak Brown makes a promise to Mario Andretti

The race aside, Miami was a fun venue for the F1 fraternity. Stars like David Beckham, Michael Jordan, and Shawn Mendes were spotted supporting their favorite teams. In fact, Beckham is fond of the Woking unit and even stopped at their garage. McLaren is often the apple of the eye considering they also have fan favorite drivers in the form of Norris and Ricciardo.

MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 12: Race winner Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and McLaren F1 and McLaren Chief Executive Officer Zak Brown celebrate on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 12, 2021 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

America’s sensational driver and Formula 1 legend Mario Andretti was also present at the star-studded abode. A skillful immigrant, former world champion, and charismatic Andretti needs no introduction. Though in his 80s, Andretti still wishes to drive an F1 car of this era.

In this moment, Brown, while speaking to Martin Brundle and Mario, jumped on the opportunity and claimed “I’ve always wanted Mario Andretti to drive for me.”

Zak is a man of his words

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That was it, as Brown promised Mario, a drive in his MCL-36. Previously, Brown has been involved in many such bets with drivers. The famous Monza circuit tattoo after McLaren 1-2 is well known. As a matter of fact, Zak made a premonition again and said, “So you know what? I think we give it a go in Austin. But we’re going to have to figure out some sort of bet because that’s what I do with my drivers.” to the beloved Andretti.

Since Brown is famous for following through with his word, we’re sure that Austin holds a surprise. Moreover, Mario sounded excited too and said, “Wow, really?. I just won the race today!”

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Though maybe not with a win to their name this time, McLaren still knows how to make a statement, don’t they?

Watch This Story: Spectacular F1 Helmet Design at 2022 Miami GP Ft. Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris

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Khyati Yadav

237 articles

Khyati Yadav is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports. She is a Hospitality Graduate and a huge fan of Lando Norris. She believes that F1 as a sport deserves a lot more attention and is intrigued by the process that goes behind the making of a car and the hard work that goes into the setting up of any Grand Prix.

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