Michael Andretti and F1

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Michael Andretti and F1

Postby plutoman » Thu 15 Nov, 2012 2:18 pm

This interview with Michael Andretti and Al Unser Jr by respected US journalist Gordon Kirby makes interesting reading.


Basically, Andretti claims that his F1 career was sabotoged by Dennis and Ecclestone. Whilst this seems, at face value, to be a case of sour grapes, it's not too far-fetched to be taken seriously. F1 had a serious rival in the CART series around that time, and what better way to prove which series had the better pool of talent than to discredit the reputation of one of CART's major players. Although he didn't help himself by crashing out of his first few races, I can't believe he was really that bad. After all, he was a regular front runner and race winner in CART for years before and after his F1 season, up against some serious competition (including Mansell). A few middling F1 drivers had moved to the US over the years, and performed at a similar level (Daly, Cheever, Johansson etc.), so there was no reason to see CART as 'lacking talent'. Unser and Paul Tracy both tested F1 cars in the early nineties, but any move to Europe was effectively scuppered after Andretti's disaster. Once the CART/IRL split took effect, it became less of an issue, but Jacques Villeneuve proved that the switch could be made effectively if given a proper opportunity. So what happened with Michael? - Useless, unlucky, or shafted?
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Re: Michael Andretti and F1

Postby AlesiFan » Fri 16 Nov, 2012 6:05 pm

plutoman wrote:Useless, unlucky, or shafted?

Or all three?

But to be fair to Ron :shock: he has generally given drivers a fair shout has he not? Unless they were foisted on him like that French bloke who came with the carppy Peugeot engines (Alliot?).

All I remember about Andretti's season to be honest is thinking that he made Riccardo Patrese's last season look slightly less embarrassing in comparison to his team-mate. So maybe he provided some useful function. :P
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