IndyCar can be a route to Formula 1 again, reckons Mario Andretti

IndyCar is regaining the status that will allow interchange of drivers between it and Formula 1, reckons American single-seater legend Mario Andretti

IndyCar can be a route to Formula 1 again, reckons Mario Andretti

Former Marussia/Manor F1 drivers Max Chilton and Alexander Rossi have headed to the IndyCar Series this season.

Andretti, a champion in both disciplines, thinks they may be able to earn future F1 chances if they impress in the States.

He believes a return to the days when drivers such as Juan Pablo Montoya, Cristiano da Matta and Sebastien Bourdais used CART/Champ Car as a route to F1, while the likes of Nigel Mansell and Mark Blundell made the opposite switch, is feasible.

"I love the crossover, I really do," said Andretti.

"These two - Max and Alexander - are still trying to get a steady ride in Formula 1.

"They haven't succeeded yet. They are hoping that whatever reputation they earn here will be valuable for them to go back.

"Our series historically has been a great platform to bring world champions over. We've seen that over the years.

I would like to see the series come back to that same level and I think it is going in that direction. I feel positive about that.

"To have this interchange between the top disciplines can only be healthy for the sport, period."

Andretti has high hopes for Rossi and Chilton, who are racing for Andretti Autosport and Chip Ganassi Racing respectively.

"There is a lot yet to be learned about Alexander Rossi," he said.

"He paid his dues in the series leading to Formula 1 but for some reason he hasn't been able to land a good Formula 1 ride yet. Somehow the drivers who have done less in the GP2 Series have proven to be winners [in F1].

"I would love to see him operate with a top-shelf team in a top-level series. He is certainly going to have that in IndyCar because Michael [Andretti] is going to give him equipment that is capable of bringing home results.

"He is a young lad that shows a tremendous amount of promise and he needs the equipment to prove he is worthy of a top ride."

Chilton made the switch to American racing last year in Indy Lights and took victory on the short oval at Iowa Speedway.

"Who would know that he would win an oval race? Probably one of the toughest ones, too," Andretti said.

"Here again, it shows the moments of brilliance. It shows that he can be versatile, which is huge. I think it is a huge attribute to any driver to show versatility. That is why Chip Ganassi hired him.

"Chip has always had a very good eye for drivers. Here is a guy with a bright future ahead of him and the best is yet to be seen."

shares
comments
Roger Penske does not want IndyCar to add international races

Previous article

Roger Penske does not want IndyCar to add international races

Next article

Penske's Power still eyeing IndyCar title bid after missing St Pete

Penske's Power still eyeing IndyCar title bid after missing St Pete
Load comments
Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over Plus

Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over

OPINION: The 2021 IndyCar silly season has been one of the silliest for many years, as many talented drivers remain in play – with new pieces to the puzzle being added all the time. Here's what we know so far about who will end up where in 2022

IndyCar
Sep 15, 2021
Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears Plus

Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears

OPINION: The rise of two drivers racing only their second full-season IndyCar campaigns to head the points with four races to go has led to some observers doubting the credentials of the old guard. But they haven't faded away, there's merely a deeper talent pool that is helping to make this season one of the best in recent years

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie Plus

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in Indycar for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular team-mate Mauro Martini's passion for racing

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority Plus

The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority

OPINION: Having been Chip Ganassi Racing's IndyCar focal point for the best part of a decade, Scott Dixon has been so far outgunned by new team-mate Alex Palou in 2021. After finishing behind the Spaniard at his traditional happy hunting ground at Mid-Ohio, Dixon has work to do to assume his traditional position in the team and the standings

IndyCar
Jul 6, 2021
The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far Plus

The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far

At the halfway point in the 2021 IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels?

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Plus

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, he explained his tactics

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Plus

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after edging past Alex Palou on the penultimate lap of a thrilling race that validated Michael Shank's faith in the veteran Brazilian - who is discovering that there is life after Penske after all

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021