Featured Andretti: I Was as Quick as Senna

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
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    Michael Andretti 1993 McLaren.jpg Michael Andretti claims he was a match for team mate Ayrton Senna during his short Formula One spell with McLaren in 1993...

    Taking the world of IndyCar racing by storm over in the United States back in the late 80's and early 90's, Michael Andretti looked to have the motor racing world at his feet when he secured the 1991 PPG IndyCar Series championship for Newman Haas Racing. Success in the top category of American motorsport would lead the often controversial American to try his hand in Formula One racing for the '93 season at a regrouping McLaren team, the then 30-year-old keen to show the rest of the world that he can stack up against his international racing colleagues on the world stage.

    Unfortunately for Michael, continuing the Andretti legacy would prove much harder than anyone imagined, eventually leaving both parties to head their separate ways just 11 races into that first season together, something that Andretti admits 25 years later made him the person he has become today:

    “I grew up a lot that year, I learned a lot about people. So in terms of experience, it made me a better person, a stronger person. So I try to not look at it as negative, it’s part of life. Everybody’s going to have stuff like that. It made me a better person at reading things, reading people.”
    Having left Formula One early and with a reputation damaged by his time in the sport, Andretti would return to the American CART series and achieve further success, however the now 55-year-old still believes he had the pace, if not the experience, to match his legendary team mate at McLaren:

    “I knew I was capable of being on the podium in a lot of the races. In many of them, stupid things were happening that were unexplainable, so it was very frustrating, really disappointing. But that’s life" said Andretti in a recent McLaren interview.​

    “I was always quick, I was always right there with Ayrton in testing, and it’s not like Ayrton was running slow.” "He was amazing. He knew what the cars could do, but I was still learning the limits of them. We’d both be there until late at night.”

    “With the active car you’d dissect every corner, and you could make the car do whatever you want. ‘If you can drop the front here as I turn in and then have it raise as I leave.’ There were so many things you could do. I felt that given another year I was going to be right on par with the best of them.”

    “Ayrton was awesome, we became very good friends. Everybody knew he was a special guy. To tell you what kind of guy he was, the next race was Portugal, he had a press conference and said how unfairly I was treated, and I was one of his best teammates ever. He was really behind me, and saw what happened.”

    “He knew how quick I was when we were running in testing, so he knew what was going on. It was cool of him to do that. He was the first one to call me when I won the Australian IndyCar race, he stayed up all night to watch it in Brazil. We would have been very close had the tragedy not happened.”

    Andretti never did make his mark in international motorsports, however thanks to a sterling career across the pond, and one of the most recognisable surnames in racing, you have to take anything that is said by the now IndyCar team owner with plenty of respect. Even if the on track product from his time at McLaren didn't quite go how the driver expected, maybe a too hasty decision from McLaren could have potentially robbed Formula One of the opportunity to finally have a truly top level American driver in the sport for the first time in the modern era?

    Murray Walker had it spot on when he said F1 is if spelt backwards... if only 1993 would have turned out differently...

    You can read the full McLaren / Andretti interview HERE.

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    Do you agree with Andretti's comments? Could the American have won races had he stayed in the sport for longer in your opinion? Let us know in the comments section below!
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
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  2. Bram Hengeveld

    Bram Hengeveld
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    Lol, of course you were Michael :roflmao:
     
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  3. Michel Forest

    Michel Forest

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    There’s no doubt Andretti was an excellent driver. As fast as Senna? Well... it’s one thing to be fast in testing, but you have to deliver during the race and that’s where Andretti failed. I was disappointed because at the time, I was hoping he would do well. I have always liked the Andrettis, father and son... The fact is, in 1993, Senna was at his peak. He was absolutely phenomenal that year. Anybody would have been overshadowed by him.

    I remember reading that he refused to live in Europe and was commuting from the US and Europe between races and testing... Is that true? It would certainly explain in part why he failed.
     
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  4. Leonardo Chaves

    Leonardo Chaves

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    LOL No!!!!
     
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  5. Motowntom

    Motowntom

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    I'm American and love the Andretti's but....HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Cheers
     
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  6. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
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    from the full interview:

    There were also suggestions that Michael wasn’t fully committed to the F1 programme, because he frequently returned to the USA between races. He denies that was an issue.

    “People loved to say that, and I think Ron liked to use that as an excuse. I spent one or two months in the heat of it over there. I could be there in six hours because of Concorde, and I never let myself get off the time, I always stayed on European time when I was in the US. I could get to Woking almost as quickly as Senna could, living in Monaco!”
     
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  7. bgil66

    bgil66

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    Very cool that he was Ayrton teammate during that time but I remember shaking my head at him during that time also lol. After that seen Michael race live with Emmo and other greats at Nazareth for many years and yes he was a quick guy, but not very personable in the paddock as others but yes he was quick. Even today now watching Indycar from Pocono he goes right into blaming Wickens about the accident and not even saying hoping he is allright, he can be a putz lol.
     
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  8. theravenousbeast

    theravenousbeast

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    Well he's not dead, so he's got that going for him.
     
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  9. Michael Lowe

    Michael Lowe
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    He may have been quick, but he's no Scott Speed.
     
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  10. Diogo Goetz Brand

    Diogo Goetz Brand

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    And I'm as fast as Huttu, I just didn't get the same opportunities.
     
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  11. MoerasGrizzly

    MoerasGrizzly
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    Any relation to the current F1 team?
     
  12. solyomtibor

    solyomtibor

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    It's so embarassing. I've never seen bigger difference between team mates. It was really painful.
    What he is doing now? Is he politician? :roflmao:
     
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  13. dcollins22585

    dcollins22585

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    Nope. Carl Haas for Andretti and Gene Haas for F1. No relation. Carl dies a few years ago.
     
  14. Koen Verlinde

    Koen Verlinde

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    Someone who says he was as fast as Senna, let the Sennafanboys go flatout already, this should be fun, cause no one should ever even doubt that their magic God wasn't the best ever.
     
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  15. raiod1478

    raiod1478

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    On foot maybe
     
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  16. Will Mazeo

    Will Mazeo
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    damn, talk about being lucky... drove CARTs, drove F1.. flew in a Concorde.
    I born in the wrong time (and with the wrong financial condition) :roflmao:
     
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  17. Nick Hill

    Nick Hill
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    No, different Haas - Carl & Gene.
     
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  18. Nick Hill

    Nick Hill
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    Senna was a great driver.

    Michael was a very good driver who perhaps had some bad luck.

    No way were those two at the same level.
     
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  19. amarbelt

    amarbelt

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    It's like when you get drunk and the morning after you claim you did nothing odd. Michael, we have the videos! :rolleyes:
     
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  20. John B. Ellis

    John B. Ellis
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    F1 is if spelled backwards? ... Hmm, what if Michael would have had the simple good sense to remain in Indycar in '93 after enduring the Ford Cosworth's painful development year in '92 (remember '92 Indy 500, Michael?). If he had, Michael, not Mansell, may have been Indycar Champ in '93, and Michael certainly wouldn't have miffed the final restart in the '93 Indy 500 that Mansell blew from inexperience. Glad you enjoyed being Senna's friend for a year rather than seizing your best chance at that elusive 500 win (as a driver, at least). Given Andretti's opportunity to observe firsthand Senna's unquestionable mystic genius (obvious even before his martyrdom), who's to say which choice was the right one.

    And I think we all know that Senna was always magnanimous with those teammates who never posed a threat on the racetrack.
     
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